Even if you haven't eaten at a Big Boy's restaurant, you're probably familiar with its mascot. The pudgy guy with the checkered overalls and pompadour is seen outside his namesake restaurant hoisting a big burger and beckoning hungry travelers to stop in and take a load off. Restaurant names tend to vary with geography (Bob's Big Boy, Frisch's Big Boy, or in this instance, Elias Brothers' Big Boy) but that smiling face always remain the same.
What was also common, at least in the old days, was the "Adventures of Big Boy" promotional comic book that was available in the restaurant. Since Big Boy restaurant were sometimes marketed as a spot for folks on the road, the comics usually dealt with topics or travel or travel destinations. Today we take a look at Big Boy's journey to Dallas!
It was 1980, there had been a big art theft in Big D and Big Boy had been called in to investigate. Is Big Boy some kind of detective or criminal investigator? I have no idea. I don't really know much about the character but I would guess that he's pretty much whatever a particular issue's story wants him to be.
So as our hero, along with his girlfriend Dolly and his dog Nuggets, wait for their plane at the airport, the case is pretty much cracked right in front of them. A suspicious cowboy hat wearing traveler essentially confesses to the crime as the gang looks on. This all happens on Page 2.
So it seems that Big Boy and his crew were called in by his police contact, Captain Crockett, who they meet up with when they land (at DFW, even though they call it "Dallas Airport"...at least it mentions that it was the largest airport in the country at the time).
So they meet up with their police connection and follow the art thief to downtown Dallas. The gang decides to split up, as crime-solving groups tend to do, and after a brief stop at the Dallas Farmers Market, they head to...
Dallas City Hall still had that "New City Hall" smell at the time. It's also the location where the art thief hid the painting. So apparently he stole it, then hid it, then flew somewhere else, then flew back to Dallas to retrieve it. Or possibly, his accomplice stole it, hid it and he came to town to retrieve it. These are the questions the comic brings up but doesn't answer.
The exact hiding place was underneath the sculpture outside the building...which the comic attempts to draw. Here's what it looks like in real life:
As our art thief grabs his purloined painting, Nuggets the dog gives him a a round of barking. And the chase was on! Like any man of action, Big Boy solves his problems with a tackle that would make a Dallas Cowboy envious.
And there you have it, case closed! There wasn't a lot of story in this story but there was at least an attempt at some graphic representation of a few Dallas landmarks. It's an odd addition to the many movies, TV shows and comics that take place in Big D but I'm sure it was a welcome one for kids in the 80s as they wolfed down their burger and fries.