Conventions & Awards

Indie Band I Love Lightning Bugs Debuts Album & Comic Combo @ Motor City Comic Con

I-love-lightning-bugs-kensingtonDetroit's I Love Lightning Bugs are reissuing their debut album Kensington along with a comic book in which they are the protagonists in an otherworldly adventure. It's the first step in an emerging direction for the band that includes appearances at comic conventions and future releases combining EP's, videos and comics.

Today's comic book release by I Love Lightning Bugs presents the "band members as characters in a rock n’ roll adventure" but they have clearly cast themselves as heroes in their own adventure:

"Reminiscent of Frank Black and Bono, lead vocalist Reid Mclellan captivates the crowd with palpable energy and charisma, while the intricate bass lines of Rob Shelby drive the melodic songs. Rounding out the on-stage trio is Angie Kaiser on drums, whose creative style makes the three-piece group sound much larger."

I Love Lightning Bugs – Not The Hopeless Kind

Last fall they released the full length digital debut Kensington and it received some fine reviews. Today, May 15th, they're releasing the album in physical form with a related comic book that begins a tale of "big foot, Nessie, aliens, moth man, shadow people, ghosts, flying pyramids and bunnies" in which they are the stars.

Though Reid Mclellan animated the above video for the single Not The Hopeless Kind, he wrote the comic book tale turning illustration duties over to Mindy McPeak. I should note that Joe Querio did the album cover art for Kensington and, though the styles differ, the black and white motif and otherworldly themes tie the art together quite nicely.

I Love Lightning Bugs debut their new approach to art and marketing at this week's Motor City Comic Con 2012 where they'll have a booth.  The bonus reissue of Kensington paired with a comic, the release of the above video and the Comic Con appearance are the basic elements in their new strategy moving forward.

They have more appearances planned with booths at similar events for which they'll book related shows. Further down the line they will be focusing on EP releases paired with comics along with convention appearances and live performances.

Once they find their groove with this new strategy, it should be interesting to see how it works out for I Love Lightning Bugs. Comic convention fans are a potentially strong market with a lot of rock music fans in the mix. Rock music fans who aren't so obsessed by comics still tend to appreciate them so the combination could be quite powerful.

In addition, EP releases make a lot of sense now that digital downloads have undermined the full album approach. They also allow for quicker releases and open up the possibilities for experimenting a bit with somewhat lower stakes than a full album. Plus, you can then do a collection of the best tunes to release as a full-length deluxe album which could be quite popular with diehard fans.

Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith blogs about business at Flux Research: Business Changes and about dance at All World Dance: News. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. So cool! Read about my soon to be brother-inlaw’s band and comic book.

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