It’s no secret that the annual San Diego Comic-Con has become a place where movie stars and blockbuster trailers often overshadow actual comic books and their creators, but in recent years it’s also become a place where any company that can draw even the most tenuous connection between itself and comic books can join in the marketing tsunami. I remember a recent SDCC during which Gillette, the razor company, set up a prominent attraction offering outdoor shaves as a tie-in to the Assassin’s Creed series of video games…because assassins also have blades, maybe? Anyway, throw a rock at Comic-Con and you’ll hit a promotion that has very little to do with what most people are actually there to see.
This year, KFC and its 11 herbs and spices will join the Comic-Con marketing tsunami with The Colonel’s Adventure Comics, a con-exclusive book starring the company’s founder-turned-mascot, Colonel Harland Sanders. If you’ve watched television at all over the last few weeks, you know that, in the midst of dipping sales, KFC has revived the late Colonel in the form of Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond. The ad campaign’s gotten a mixed reception (if you don’t believe me, just look at the comments on KFC’s Facebook announcement for the comic; those are actual KFC fans and they hate this guy), but for one of the biggest media events of the summer KFC is doubling down with a comic book featuring no less than four images of the Colonel’s face on the cover.
We have no idea what the comic is about. Judging by the cover, there’s a good chance it’s basically about the Colonel’s life, but I’m secretly hoping this will launch some kind of crossover in which Sanders and his noble steed (I don’t know if the horse has a name, but I’m gonna call him “Drumstick” for fun) have to charge into battle against Ronald McDonald and The Noid from those old Domino’s ads.
San Diego Comic-Con begins July 9. Get a Colonel Sanders comic while they last.