Harvard Law Professor Alan Jenkins, bestselling author Gan Golan Releases Thrilling New Book
What Harvard Law Professor Alan Jenkins, bestselling author Gan Golan, and veteran comic illustrator Will Rosado have done with the Thrilling 1/6: The Graphic Novel, which released issue #2 this week, is nothing short of heroic. Through a means that is entertaining, respectful, and fully transparent, they’re able to communicate complex, dynamic, and resonant ideas critical for the average civilian to fully comprehend before the November election this year. “I found myself…worrying about the threats that still remain to our democracy and watching cynical pundits and politicians trying to spin and negate it and try to disappear the events of Jan. 6. So I felt the need to tell that story in a way that would be accessible for everyday folks, that doesn’t require advanced education or sophisticated English literacy skills, that would actually be interesting and engaging to consume. And I’m also a comic book geek from way back. And so graphic novels seemed like the right way to go,” Professor Jenkins stated, in an interview with Vice promoting the strip.
Gan Golan concurs: “Yeah, we’re not just trying to condense the 850 page final report of the January 6 committee down and then illustrate it. We’re using this speculative fiction approach which allows us to get into some very profound issues at the heart of what happened on Jan. 6. It isn’t just about what happened. But what could have happened had they succeeded. What were the intentions of this movement? And what are the ongoing risks to our democracy? The reality is that the insurrection itself didn’t end on Jan. 6, and given a chance they might try again, or try to do something even worse.”
1/6 in the spirit of that is simultaneously an encapsulation of an alternative to January 6 belonging in the speculative fiction category, and at the same time is something of a warning of what’s to come if we’re not careful. Much like Black Mirror, it predicts something that may have been delayed, more than stamped out as something we can now safely ponder the horrors of in an era no longer tied to the immediacy of the themes involved. “When you see a version of the intentions of the MAGA organizers, you suddenly understand the severity of their vision and how contrary it is to the values that most of us hold. You can’t do that in a documentary. The power of all dystopian fiction is it gives us that warning of the reality we want we have to work to avoid. It’s a call to action. It’s meant for us to deeply consider the crossroads that we’re in and make much clearer choices about the country that we want to live in,” Golan states.
He also states of the comic’s opening sequence: “…the disinformation and revisionism coming from the seat of government hopefully will sound eerily familiar to people. That’s because we used some of the very same disinformation tactics that Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump and others have used. In our story, government drones and political apparatchiks push a narrative that’s pretty close to our real American life. And we’re kind of showing what would have happened, had they succeeded. In the story it looks surreal and bizarre to us, but actually…is it?”