‘Time & Vine #1:’ Comic Book Review

Who would want to travel back in time? Okay, there’s probably a decent percentage of people who would say yes. Now, would you want to travel back in time to a winery, because when you traveled back, an exciting party would be happening onsite? There are even more people that would find that scenario intriguing. All right, now for the question that will cover almost everyone else alive – would you want to travel back in time, in a magical winery, where the only way to travel back would be to drink wine?

Sign you up, you say?

Writer and artist Thom Zahler and IDW Publishing bring us the first issue of Time & Vine, a fun story about having adventures and recapturing connections with loved ones by experiencing something vintage and new at the same time. Zahler creates the Aeternum Winery and a group of characters that are interesting to watch. First, the night starts off with several teachers out on the town, dancing, enjoying some wine, and trying to entertain their friend and co-worker, Megan. It turns out they all need a break from reality, given the group as a whole, as Megan describes them: “You handle a room full of delinquents for a week and then watch how your alcohol intake goes up.”

This opening scene is funny and lightens the mood, especially considering the real reason the group is out celebrating. Megan’s mom has become “scattered,” more often forgetting where she is or what year she’s living in. It’s a perfectly suitable reason to go out with friends who want nothing more than to cheer her up and self-indulge themselves. This is also the perfect moment for Megan to meet Jack. He owns the winery, and as any good barkeep, he listens to her troubles and then offers her a solution. Jack invites her on a tour of the wine cellar with “two hundred years of liquid history.” It sounds like the perfect opportunity to clear her mind and discover an adventure that will take her well beyond the steps of an old cellar.

The imagery, along with colors by Luigi Anderson, have a classic feel. Even the production of story aims to represent an authentic winery experience. You can read Zahler’s posts, “The Inspiration for Time and Vine,” which detail the research that led to creating this story, including his choice of location and learning about the process of wine making. Zahler also created three covers for Issue 1, with one appropriately designed with a bunch of arms raised in the air, glasses full of red wine, as if to say, “Cheers and enjoy!”

Time & Vine #1 is available for teachers, and everyone else, on Wednesday, July 19, for print and digital release.

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