A world in which the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol succeeds is an alternate reality that Montclair resident Alan Jenkins is relieved to present only as fiction in “1/6” – the graphic novel he co-authored with New York Times best-selling author Gan Golan.

Jenkins will be holding his first book signing at East Side Mags on Saturday, July 1.

“1/6” is the first in a four-issue series and hit first on the Kindle list of best sellers in the alternative history category just a few days after its release at the beginning of the year.

“It is my first book-signing anywhere,” said Jenkins, civil rights attorney, Harvard law professor, and self-described democracy lover. “I’m very excited to be doing it in Montclair and at East Side Mags.”

Rooted in truth and with fact-checked scripts, “1/6” presents a speculative fictional future in which the assault on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, resulted in the overturning of the 2020 presidential election.

This alternative story takes place six months after the insurrection, when the Second Amendment is used liberally, Confederate flags and logos replicating Nazi symbols become part of national monuments, and armed militias take over a news network after being declaring it an “enemy of freedom.”

Behind this “What if?” multiverse comic book, Jenkins intends to alarm and inspire his readers to engage in and stand up for democracy, 

“It seems to me, and it still does, that all of the forces that led to the insurrection: she authoritarianism, the anti-Semitism, the bigotry, that anti-immigrant fervent, white nationalism and Christian nationalism are all very much still with us,” Jenkins said.

Alan Jenkins, co-author of a graphic novel about what might have happened if the attack on the U.S. Capitol had succeeded. (MARIA MONICA FERNANDEZ/STAFF)
Alan Jenkins, co-author of a graphic novel about what might have happened if the attack on the U.S. Capitol had succeeded. (MARIA MONICA FERNANDEZ/STAFF)

“1/6” is the result of Jenkins’ sleepless nights after watching TV coverage of the mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters surrounding and breaking into the U.S. Capitol building, where Congress was in session to count the Electoral College votes and formalize the victory of President-elect Joe Biden.

“I was waking up at 3 and 4 a.m. … with this sense of dread, that not only was our democracy still at grave risk but that the country was already going to be ready to move on,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins, who was inspired by his late mother Dr. Olga Jenkins to build a career as a civil and human rights advocate, got in touch with Gan Golan, whom he had worked with when he was president of the Opportunity Agenda. They found inspiration from their most popular project at that time, the social justice comic Helvetika Bold.

Jenkins and Golan brought up alternative answers to real-life scenarios that could have happened during the insurrection.

“What if we played out what the insurrectionists had planned?” Jenkins said. “What do we believe President Trump had planned? Where could our country have gone if the mob had turned right instead of left and entered the Senate chamber? If the mob had found Vice President Pence, who they were chanting ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ where would we be?”

Equally crucial for Jenkins, an avid comics reader, “1/6“ also looks to satisfy the taste of comic book connoisseurs. 

“No one who knows me is surprised that I co-wrote a comic book,” Jenkins said.

The authors wanted “to produce a work that people really like and want to read that people who have not been engaged with our struggle for democracy want to read because it’s a good comic book,” Jenkins said. “All the reviews so far have been very positive. We’re 4.5 stars on Amazon. Tough crowd.”

Will Rosado, a veteran Marvel, DC artist and illustrator of La Borinqueña, is the illustrator for the “1/6” project. He will be joining Jenkins at East Side Mags for the signing.

Jenkins is working with civil rights and pro-democracy organizations to use “1/6” and the Western State Center guide that can be found in the back of the graphic novel as a tool to engage in activism. He wants his project to contribute to the many comic books and other forms of expression that are part of the historical record that have tackled social issues.

“It may sound funny that a fictional comic book would be part of the historical record, but there’s a long history of that,” Jenkins said. “Think about Hamilton. How many people have never read the Federalist Papers but have learned some important pillars about our founding leaders because they love ‘Hamilton,’” Jenkins said of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical.

The second issue of “1/6” is expected to be released in about a month. Jenkins added that the third one would be launched on Election Day of this year and the last and final issue would be out around January 6, 2024.

The book signing will take place from 2 to 5 p.m.

“I hope people will come even if they miss the book signing,” Jenkins said. “I hope they’ll stop by East Side Mags and buy a copy and share it and also download the action guide because we all have a role in protecting our democracy.”