Graphic Novel Review: The Shiatsung Project by Brigitte Archambault
Posted on August 11, 2022 at 6:25 am by Gene Ambaum
The Shiatsung Project by Brigitte Archambault. BDANG / Conundrum Press, 2021. 9781772620603.
A young woman has always lived in a house next to a pool in a yard surrounded by four high walls. Shiatsung answers her questions, provides entertainment, and teaches her what she wants to know. But Shiatsung won’t tell her about other people or the world outside the walls, though it provides whatever the young woman needs. Is it just a computer program that runs the house? Are there other humans who help it do things like prepare food and take away garbage? What’s on the other side of the only door the woman can’t open? Is the sound on the other side of the wall a lawn mower like hers? What will happen to her when she tries to find out?
This feels like the kind of story that could express an overwhelming sense of loneliness, but the woman’s curiosity is stronger than her despair. And the whole situation is just super weird. She will certainly never understand some of what she finds when she goes looking, and it’s hard to tell if that makes what she eventually sees weirder for her or for us readers.