Big Tex flames up like Phoenix

October 21, 2012

Friday morning (the final weekend of the 2012 State Fair of Texas) a fire started inside the framework of Big Tex. His clothing, face and hat were completely destroyed in minutes. While an official investigation has not taken place yet, state fair officials believe that the fire was due to an electrical short.


A majority of the messages on my Twitter feed all day have had #bigtex. Facebook is full of similar comments. Country songs are already being written about it.


If you aren’t from Texas, let me tell you, it’s a big deal. I have read many RIPs from sad well-wishers.

If it is ever discovered that it was something other than an electrical fire than some of the overblown statements of it being the ‘Texan 9/11’ will be repeated ad nauseam. While the two tragedies are nowhere comparable, a great loss if felt by the entire state. Someone who has appeared in family photos for over half a century won’t be with us any longer (this is only half true).

Fair officials have committed to rebuilding Big Tex “bigger and better” in time for the 2013 fair. This will provide a great opportunity to revitalize attendance or interest for next year’s fair and any other possible needed for the Dallas Fair Park.

Before this weekend, Big Tex was a seasonal feature appearing only during the fair. He has been redesigned a few times but has always had the same fiberglass head since the 1950s. Now that Big Tex has reached his golden years (Big Tex was issued an AARP card in 2002), maybe it is time to rebuild him as a permanent installment. And bridge the gap with some old and new:

This may just be me wanting to see a sequel to this comic:

With the possible return of Jean Gray’s character to Marvel Comics after their Avengers vs. X-Men summer event, it would be the perfect time to tie all of these franchises back together.

Because bigger is better. That is how we do it in Texas. He will be back bigger, bolder, more fire-resistant and it should be tied together with the return of one of my favorite marvel characters of all time.


Ok, now that the ‘nerding’ out is over, this is about about journalism as much as it is anything about the nerdery. As a future public relations office, it is relevant to think about how a tragedy can become an strength. The destruction of a local icon will have a great impact on the D/FW area. There is already a BigTex memorial. Anyone who has any memory of the comic book insert from the Dallas Times Herald from 1983 is well in to the age of having their own comic book collecting children. I think that the combination of the two properties would have a retro-chique vibe that could work to the benefit of Marvel/Disney as well as the Texas State Fair.

It would take very little effort for Marvel to release the comic again in digital formats. In my own dreamworld, the communications plan for this project would include mentions of Jean Grey sightings in the social media as well as relevant stories (comics, cartoons, possibly the 2014 movie). It would also include tactics that would require a 30th anniversary edition of the BigTex comic book and a new version that could be published both physically and digitally. The Marvel digital comic book store now has a way to purchase comics easily for almost any digital reading device. Their physical comics also include Augmented Reality which can bring the action right off the page.

In fact, Marvel Entertainment just announced the Marvel AR app won the 2012 Mobile Excellence Award in the category of “Best Mobile Application for Entertainment.”

The Marvel AR app lets users go behind the scenes of their favorite comics with exclusive interviews, features, art, 3D action scenes, recaps of past events, and more! It is available on both iPhone and Android devices, from iTunes or Google Play.

Imagine a 3D rendering of BigTex coming off of the page and speaking those famous lines, “Hi. I’m Big Tex.”




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