The Silent Barn: Fort Thunder Reborn, in Queens

Cartoonist Sammy Harkham never got to visit the legendary art space / music venue / minicomic factory known as Fort Thunder.  Missing out on Fort Thunder is what Sammy called  “one of the most disappointing things in my life.”  

I never made it to Fort Thunder either – but I’ve read the articles and seen a few Youtube videos.  This weekend I visited The Silent Barn, located just over the border of Bushwick in Brooklyn, a neighborhood with a booming population of the  young and the hip.  In my mind, it recalled a mini Fort Thunder.  A lo-fi video arcade is tucked in one corner, a zine library in another (The Ditko Zine Library, to be exact).  The walls a are covered with art, and the occasional live microphone (the whole space is recorded as part of a sound experiment involving crowd noise).  Bands of the DIY, hardcore and noise variety play weekly.  To top it off, The Silent Barn is an all-ages venue.  It has attracted a young crowd of DIY enthusiasts who have been making zines since they were in middle school.  It’s enough to make a self-publisher like me both nostalgic and optimistic.

Poster design by Jon Chad

CCS was invited by The Silent Barn to host a day of workshops and book selling.  Over 20 CCSers (including students, alumni and staff) made the trip to Queens for what could be described  a short, intense, basement-sized minicomics convention.  We attracted a nice crowd and had a good time.

Photo by Colleen Frakes.  See more photos on our flickr page.

 I was inspired the space, and by the enthusiasm of our host, Jordan Michael.  Jordan has more plans for the Silent Barn, including a MoCCA after-party for cartoonists who can’t afford a MoCCA table.

I highly recommend visiting The Silent Barn.  The energy of the space is contagious.

– Robyn Chapman


2 responses to “The Silent Barn: Fort Thunder Reborn, in Queens

  1. hey — Thanks for this article!! 🙂 from Kunal / the Silent Barn / Babycastles

  2. Yeah, thanks for saying nice things about Ditko Zine Library and Silent Barn!

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