ON THE TURN is the second major comic book from the Healthy Aboriginal Network. It tells the story of Brianna, a girl in an urban Native family. Needing money for an iPod, she takes up gambling at school with predictable results. Eventually she lies to and steals from her family before admitting she needs help.
The story by Jay Odjick (THE RAVEN) and Patrick Tenascon is reasonably well constructed and involving. It makes a reasonable case against compulsive gambling. One hopes readers will see how easily children can get sucked in over their heads.
Except for a talking circle used as a response to problem gambling, there's nothing Native about this story. It could be about anyone. I don't know if that's good or bad.
The art by Odjick is supposed to be realistic, but it looks vaguely Cubist to me. You know, eyes, noses, and chins at weird angles? Kids may find it edgy, but I'd say it's merely crude.
I believe that kids who think they're good at poker might be taken by kids who are better at it. But I find it hard to believe a novice like Brianna would think she could win against experienced players. When you know nothing about a game, you don't bet all your money against the big boys. You start off slow and learn the game gradually.
ON THE TURN isn't as good as the group's first effort, DARKNESS CALLS. But I've seen their third comic and it looks like another winner. Kudos to the Healthy Aboriginal Network for continuing to tackle social issues in comic books.