Band of Bards is Now a Co-op Publisher

MAR. 29, 2024, (PITTSBURGH, PA) — It’s a brand new day for the comics industry!

With coaching and direction from Cooperation Buffalo, celebrated indie publisher Band of Bards has announced it is now a cooperative!

Known for titles such as Lycan, Hush Ronin, Grandma Tilly’s Hell-Tech Mech, and Coins of Judas, Band of Bards is taking a three-pronged approach, beginning in partnership with Dauntless Stories. These two recognized and respected indie pubs will remain individual entities with full autonomy, but will collaborate and co-publish individual issues as well as collections to cast a net to wider audiences. Together they will be focusing on continuing to deliver exceptional comics to the direct market and book market. 

Band of Bards co-founders Chris Benamati and Tim Stolinski have also added new members to the ownership group, including Marcus Jimenez as Chief Operating Officer, Brent Fisher as Chief Diversity Officer, and Joey Galvez as Head of Kickstarter Ops & Social Media Manager; all of whom will increase the capabilities of the publisher and its mission to advance representation, inclusion, and diversity in comics is at the forefront of this effort.

A board of directors has also been devised, including President Brent Fisher, Vice President Joey Galvez, Secretary Marcus Jimenez, and Treasurer Tim Stolinski, in addition to three chair positions held by Melissa Meszaros (Don’t Hide PR), Anne Breannaman (Anne Reads Comics), and Allen Harrington (Krazzy Komics, Columbus, OH) designed to help Band of Bards stay in touch with comic creators, the wider comics community, and retailers alike. The board will convene on a regular basis to discuss how to continue to make the comics industry and its community a thriving and viable outlet for those who love to create, read, sell, and collect comics.


Band of Bards Co-founder, Tim Stolinski, said: “I’m a believer that no solitary man can make it alone in comics. We are all on this glory road together now spearheading cooperative comics in America. I don’t follow the status quo. From the very start Chris and I have asked ‘What would a worker owned comics publisher look like?’ After a year of research, planning, and a ton of work we now have that answer. Band of Bards continues to walk its own path in this industry. Reorganizing into a worker owned co-op allows us to truly be a creator owned publisher and to have an ownership group that reflects our mission of advancing representation, inclusion, and diversity in comics. As we continue to grow, we will be able to produce original titles along with the creator-owned titles we publish. My hope is that we will soon incorporate a retail space with our headquarters, complete with event space to support the local creative scene here in Buffalo, and maybe even an in house printing operation. I want Band of Bards to make a difference in comics, and also help advance the creative scene in Buffalo. Every type of independent art is here. It’s an exciting place to be. Having the opportunity to improve our community through a democratically operated business is the bee’s knees. I’m so grateful for Marcus, Joey, & Brent to want to come along for this ride. They’re awesome people and having them as equal worker owners will make Band of Bards so much better!” 

Dauntless Stories Publisher, Marcus Jimenez, added: “I set out to push the boundaries of what comics could be for the independent creator. Longer timelines and more support so that the creators involved can put their absolute best into telling the stories they want to put out into the world. Band of Bards from the beginning has been a group that I could lean on for support in our shared goals and endeavors. Now that Tim and Chris have asked us to join, I think this will strengthen our cause and our resolution to do what we set out to do in the first place, push the boundaries by doing good in our community. Wherever we can, whenever we can. This new opportunity I believe will open the floodgates for new possibilities and opportunities to bring a new wave of talent and ideals into the industry.”

Co-operatives are based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity. In the tradition of their founders, co-operative members believe in the ethical values of honesty, openness, social responsibility and caring for others. Band of Bards sees no mission as impossible when forces are combined for the greater good.

Band of Bards is an independent publisher of comics and graphic novels formed in March of 2021 by Timothy Stolinski and Chris Benamati. Based in Buffalo, NY we are a worker-owned cooperative committed to publishing stories with a focus on Representation, Inclusion, and Diversity. We support creator-owned IP and intend to foster community, and push comics forward.

Dauntless Stories, founded in 2021 by Marcus Jimenez, is as an independent comic publisher committed to fostering creativity and diversity within the comic book industry by providing a platform for both emerging and established artists and writers to showcase their unique voices and stories. The idea behind Dauntless is deeply rooted in the belief that comics have the power to inspire, educate, and entertain, challenging both creators and readers alike to be brave, to be bold, and to be dauntless.

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