McGinnis: You gotta get a gimmick: TFP to follow comics’ exampleWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The following is satire, and should not be read by the irony-impaired.
In a stunning move, Toledo Free Press has announced a series of “special events” would be happening this year in an effort to shake up the stories being told within its pages.
“Though we are at the top of our game, one thing you have to be wary of is getting stale,” Editor in Chief Sarah Ottney said in an interview. “We decided it was important to keep things exciting for our readers and fans, and that there was no better way to do that than to follow the example of the juggernauts that are Marvel and DC Comics.”
To wit, following the example of blockbusters like “Marvel vs. DC,” “Avengers vs. X-Men” and “Superman vs. Muhammad Ali,” the first major crossover event in the history of the publication will pit readers’ favorite writers and personalities against one another in battles to determine the ultimate victor.
“Toledo Free Press vs. Toledo Free Press Star” — also known by the clever acronym “TFPvTFPS” — will take place this coming March. As with the comic events that provide its inspiration, TFPvTFPS will play out in a feud of epic scope which will see fan favorites fight it out in a battle for supremacy, whether fans really want to see them fight or not.
“Barhite vs. Baumhower! Molnar vs. Martini! These are fights that longtime readers have been clamoring for,” said Jeff McGinnis, pop culture editor of Toledo Free Press. “Well, okay, maybe not clamoring for. More like fights they are mildly interested in. And it’s way out of character for any of us to fight, anyway. But fight we will! Of course, the major battle will be between Ottney and myself. I won’t give away any spoilers, but remember those big sticks on ‘American Gladiators’ that looked like giant Q-Tips? It’ll involve those, I promise!”
Fans should not get too attached to McGinnis, though, as it has already been announced that a 13-part “Death of Jeffy McG” story arc will begin this coming April. Following the path of recent comic book events that have seen Spider-Man, Professor X, Captain America, Wolverine and many, many, many more kick the bucket, McGinnis will meet his end saving pop culture from the horrors of yet another Guy Fieri television series. Longtime readers may be shocked to see the TFP writer/geek/chicken nugget enthusiast killed off, but Ottney insists it’ll be worth it.
“We know McGinnis commands an audience of tens — perhaps dozens — but we’ve come up with a great story that absolutely demands that he croak,” she said. “This is in no way a cynical marketing move and we promise the ramifications of this story will be felt for years to come. Years. Decades, maybe. This story will mean something, and we promise Jeff’s death won’t be a waste of time that will be undone in just a few months.”
Ottney also announced that pre-orders are already being taken for May’s 24-issue extravaganza “The Return of Jeffy McG.” “Because fans demanded it! He comes back from the dead! Who could have ever guessed it? This kind of story NEVER happens! Be ready!”
The departure/return of McGinnis is not the only major development to come. Following the example of icons like Captain America and Thor, who recently had their personas taken over by new characters, TFP has announced that longtime writer Jim Beard will soon have his persona usurped by film critic James A. Molnar.
“I’m excited by the chance to be the new Jim Beard,” Molnar said. “I know Jim Beard fans are used to Jim Beard being Jim Beard, but I think people will be excited by what I will bring to the Jim Beard name. I can make Jim Beard a more fascinating figure than even Jim Beard ever did.”
“No comment,” said the old Jim Beard.
In the end, one might wonder what the point of all this gimmickry is? If the stories being told are solid and the individuals involved are compelling, why introduce so many bizarre shake-ups in an effort to change things around? Do such events really result in better storytelling?
“Of course not,” said Jeff McGinnis, writer/dead man walking. “They’re just naked bids for attention. But none of it will matter when the next phase of our plan goes into effect.”
Next phase? What does that mean?
“‘TFP: The Movie,’ baby! I’ve got a conference call with Bryan Singer next week!”