The 50th Law

50 Cent, Author, Robert Greene, Author
50 Cent, Robert Greene, and Dave Crosland. SmarterComics (www.smartercomics.com), $14.95 (80p) ISBN 978-1-61082-006-6
Reviewed on: 07/09/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
Leather - 291 pages
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This combination of graphic memoir, self-help manual, and merchandising adapts the 2009 prose edition of the same title for younger readers, featuring artwork by Crosland that captures a bracing urban energy. The bio of 50 Cent in the book’s back matter reads, in part, “He began drug dealing at the age of twelve, which gave him the need to become fearless in order to attain success and power on the streets and, later, in the recording industry.” This extraordinary mixed message animates the morally confused story of 50 Cent’s rise to fame. “Fifty” is portrayed as an ambitious kid who started dealing drugs early as a way to subvert the limited opportunities of his oppressive urban environment. After a stint in jail, he transitions to a music career, using his “hustler’s eye” and an entrepreneurial approach to gain advantage in unfamiliar territory. The book adapts ideas from Greene’s earlier bestseller, The 48 Laws of Power, which reduced the writings of Machiavelli and Sun Tzu to sound bite–sized corporate jargon. In this version, younger readers are encouraged to “Create Little Empires” and “Move Higher Up the Food Chain.” Despite some positive, constructive points, it’s hard to get past the uncritical portrayal of Fifty’s drug dealing and its gleaming silver lining. (Oct.)
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