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.
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