I’m probably more against the idea than for it but I can understand the reasoning.
On the plus side, the Walking Dead’s readership is probably a lot smaller than Playboy’s, so the extra, uh, exposure might be good for the comic. It’s also true that of that kind of magazine, Playboy probably has more respect from the public than most of its peers. And the timing is good. The general public is probably aware to a degree of the TV series and this is a way to making them aware of the source comic.
But… probably my biggest concern is that comics already have a boys only reputation. I can imagine straight female readers feeling mortified at the idea of picking up an issue of Playboy for the story, plus some friction from their partners if straight men pick it up. For that matter a gay male picking it up might raise some eyebrows as well. Imagine if Playgirl had the same rep for intelligent articles, and that it was in Playgirl that the story was appearing; how would straight men feel about buying the issue? Beyond that, some people of both sexes and sexual orientations don’t like the female ideal Playboy represents.
Of course it’s likely that the story will eventually be reprinted in a trade, but some collectors prefer originals, plus people who don’t normally get the trade might not want to have to choose between the extra money for the trade or buying a magazine that for all its better reputation compared to most is still a nudie magazine. A perhaps greater concern is that it might create the impression among some women that the regular series is less geared towards women than it really is, that it objectifies women (which is not at all the case).
Having said that, it’s true that comics do need to explore new avenues, and putting a non-nudie strip in Playboy is certainly a different avenue. The interesting question is of course the degree to which people really do read the intelligent articles in the magazine and not just examine the pictures and among those, how many would be a zombie comic.
In summation, it strikes me as not the best idea, but I’m open to be proven wrong. I think that putting a story in Fangoria might be a better match but it will; be interesting to see the results.