It’s fascinating and baffling at the same time, this one, this Image comic, “7174 Presents Haunted Universus”, issue #1.

Written by T P Louise, and illustrated by Ashley Wood, this visual trip consists of the Prelude, the introduction into the world of a large garden in London England, in 1904. No ordinary garden, this thing is immense. As time goes on, it’s augmented by a mystical bent, when we come to see a length of rope made into a circle. This circle is a safe zone. But safe from what?

Safe to say, with an enigmatic writing style courtesy of Louise, and a scratchy, Wood-“woodcut meets ‘madly off in all directions brush work’ ” visual style, this book is a bit of an acquired taste. The captions illuminate the path for the reader in fits and starts; the reader wanders back and forth across the pages, piecing together a map of a story with few clues.

It’s wonderful for the truly independent reader, this dark and eclectic journey through subtitles, impressionist renderings, random mutterings, and flutterings of the wings of blackbirds. The typical reader will glaze over and head for the donuts, to take a break from the bleak and mysterious threads of the story of darkness, hauntings, demons, and other things. Plus, there’s the graphically represented erect and explicit bumping and grinding in the black and white of the night.

Image 7174 Presents Haunted Universus #1, $4.99 for 48 pages. Mature, sexual nudity, and graphic sex

By Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!