Comic Books as Branded Entertainment

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The Golden Adventures of Brett Hull #1: “Slap Shot to Destiny!”

In 1994, St. Louis-based Patrick Company came up with a brilliant cross-promotion idea for their clients Coca-Cola and McDonalds: create an original comic book series to be sold as Happy Meals in St. Louis-area stores. The comics would star Brett Hull, then a revered member of the St. Louis Blues hockey club, now an even more revered, retired National Hockey League Hall of Famer. Patrick partnered with the fantastic commercial art studio Hinkle & Company to provide comic art and production. Only one thing was missing for the planned three-issue series:

A writer.

I was honored to get the call, and dove into providing treatments and full scripts for all three issues of “The Golden Adventures of Brett Hull,” attempting to tell a story that would appeal to kids and hockey fans, while including playful references to McDonalds and Coke. The story blended science-fiction, hockey action and humor into a tale about character, destiny… and cyborg hockey villains.

Here are the covers to the other two issues.

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The Golden Adventures of Brett Hull #2: “Power Play: 2094”

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The Golden Adventures of Brett Hull #3: “Sudden Death Overtime!”

The comics sold out at regional McDonalds, and are still in many comic collections today. (Search eBay and you’ll still find copies for sale.) It was one of the oddest writing assignments I’ve ever had in my marketing and advertising career, but I can also say it remains hands-down my favorite.

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Clients: McDonalds, Coca-Cola
Agencies: The Patrick Company, Hinkle & Company
Writer: Walt Jaschek
Co-Writer (issue #2): Brock Hanke
Artists: Don Secrease, Bill Lux, Rick Burchett (as Jim Riley), Johnny’s Flying Mouse, Terry Hinkle, and Bill Vann (covers)

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