Skip navigation
Comedian Darrell Hammond plays KFC39s Colonel Sanders in a rebranding campaign
<p>Comedian Darrell Hammond plays KFC&#39;s Colonel Sanders in a rebranding campaign.</p>

KFC’s Colonel Sanders to star in comic book

Chain founder will have strong presence at annual Comic-Con event

The return of Colonel Sanders is now finding its way into a comic book.

The legendary founder of the KFC chain is currently featured in a new ad campaign starring Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond. Now, Sanders’ story is featured in a graphic novel titled “KFC Presents: The Colonel’s Adventure Comics.”

The novel will be distributed Friday around the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego during Comic-Con International, an annual event that draws well over 100,000 attendees to the Southern California city each year. The comic will chronicle Sanders’ life from sixth grade dropout to gun-fighting gas station owner to fried chicken magnate.

“Harland Sanders wasn’t born ‘The Colonel,’” Kevin Hochman, chief marketing officer for KFC in the U.S., said in a statement. “Like most comic book heroes, he started out as an underdog and overcame obstacles that gave him superhuman cooking skills and an amazing superhero costume. Both catapulted him to iconic status.”

Photo courtesy of KFC's The Colonel's Adventure Comics

A comic of Sanders’ true life story would be interesting to fans and anyone who loves superhero stories, he said.

“Only this one is 100-percent true,” Hochman said.

Comic-Con has evolved from a small comic book convention that began in 1970 to a massive pop-culture showcase that in 2010 drew more than 130,000 attendees — many of them dressed as characters from various movies, television shows, comic books or video games.

KFC will have a major presence at the conference beyond the graphic novel.
The brand will place seven life-sized statues of Colonel Sanders throughout the Gaslamp Quarter. Each of the statues will be WiFi-enabled, providing attendees with Internet access.

KFC is partnering with Adult Swim — a series of more mature programs aired at night on Cartoon Network — to bring Wi-Fi to the area. Each of the statues will be dressed in “eclectic cosplay [or costume play] attire,” including a vampire, a unicorn, a Martian, a werewolf, an anime character and an anthropomorphic animal character known as a “furry."

Attendees who connect to Wi-Fi through one of the Sanders portals will be directed to a digital hub cobranded by both KFC and Adult Swim.

Adult Swim and KFC have also created three 60-second stop-motion spots featuring Sanders and Robot Chicken, from the Adult Swim program “Robot Chicken,” in a space adventure that will play out over the next four months. The first episode was developed by series co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich and will premier Thursday in San Diego and later on Adult Swim.

KFC brought Sanders back this spring as part of a brand overhaul, as the chain sought to reverse years of decline that have seen it lose its status to Chick-fil-A as the nation’s largest quick-service chicken chain.

Sanders, who developed KFC’s fried chicken recipe 75 years ago, is a major focal point of the brand’s re-launch in television ads, marketing materials, an online game and inside remodeled restaurants.

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.