News & Ideas  -  New Graphic Novel Considers 1/6


A new graphic novel dramatically asks and answers the question: What if the January 6, 2021, insurrection had been successful?

Written by Alan Jenkins and Gan Golan and illustrated by Will Rosado, 1/6 is set nine months after the insurrection and chillingly illustrates how close we came to authoritarian rule in America and the threats to democracy that we still face. The novel uses speculative fiction to explore themes of autocracy, scapegoating, strategic disinformation, and more, all told through a compelling, character-driven story. Other works in this genre, which explore what could happen, include George Orwell’s 1984, Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, and the Twilight Zone.

1/6 invites readers to consider what could have been lost if the attack on Congress by Trump supporters and the efforts to overturn the election had succeeded. Drawing on real-life events, 1/6 travels the road that led from back-room meetings, white supremacist rallies, and the Four Seasons Landscaping parking lot to a violent attack on the Capitol that left several Americans dead and shook our nation to its core.

The Kettering Foundation is proud to have helped support this important project. It is an example of the kind of interventionist work that will be part of the foundation’s new Democracy and the Arts program because of the power of art to interrupt habitual ways of thinking and to support critical inquiry. The visual and performing arts reveal democracy’s fragility and complexity by using the senses to explore issues in innovative ways that can speak to our lived experiences.

Volume 1, the first in the four-issue series, has just been released. To learn more, and to purchase a copy, click here.

In addition to the graphic novel, the Western States Center has published a free education and action guide as a companion document. It includes simple steps that anyone can take to protect democracy. There are ideas for what people can do at the personal, community, and policy levels, as well as ways to use 1/6 for education. To learn more about the education and action guide, visit the Western States Center’s website here.