There are countless journalists, entertainers, artists and faces in the entertainment and pop culture field. Many have been proclaimed or called themselves “the king of the geeks,” and in this particular industry, fame can come with the territory regardless of what you do in the business, but one of the greatest forces was Jon Schnepp.
If you aren’t familiar with the name, you definitely know some of his work. He was a creative force and director for highly popular animated shows, helped bring Black Panther to the small screen before the worldwide recognition and cinematic success of the character, a writer, producer and animator and he was extremely vocal and passionate about all of the things we worship and adore in fandom.
Schnepp was not only a human megaphone for the praise of pop culture, but he was a force who was continuously working on building from his own passions and creating his own stories. He served as animation director for popular shows like Space Ghost: Coast To Coast, while also directing segments for the Comedy Central cult classic series The Upright Citizen’s Brigade.
Jon also built his own personal projects, while having a great hand in fan favorites Metalocalypse and The Venture Brothers. He was the type that built success through films that got lost in the ether, such as the case with his feature documentary Superman Lives: What Happened? With his loving partner Holly, he dedicated himself to investigate the disappearance of the feature slated to star Nicolas Cage as the Man of Steel.
By many accounts, Jon was the type that not only had great admiration and respect for the comic book world, but he was the one to always want to chat about them. This was another aspect of his demeanor that began in the mid-2000’s with AMC Movie Talk and ended with two major series catering to horror as well as comic book culture fans, Collider Nightmares and Heroes. He’d also built many offshoot properties including Comic Book Shopping, where he ventured into a local shop with celebrities including Michael Rooker and the great Frank Miller.
Jon was a highly skilled and intelligent champion of the strange and the nerds before genre films, metal music and comic books were popular and accepted. I was also part of a time when these things were deemed uncool and weird, and Schnepp saw us as Sweaties, the people who had no fear of wearing our love on our sleeve.
When he spoke he had a vast knowledge and was as whipsmart when it came to comedy as any comedian. He was always a massive ball of cosmic energy that was able to make you laugh while making you feel good and proud to be a fan. I never met Jon in life, I was always just an admirer of his work and I’d always felt like he was a part of my life. In many ways, I was Jon, as a great majority of you reading this tribute are Jon. We collect, cherish and sweat for Marvel, DC, horror and cinema.
I did have one personal encounter when it came to the man, and that involved his convention manager, who sent me a message and asked me where I lived. When I told him he said, “I really need to get out that way with Schnepp because he would love you.” As someone who began out of passion in the entertainment business eight years ago, that sentence not only made me feel happy, but also accomplished.
I loved Jon, and I would have been honored to sit down, have a beer and talk comics and movies with him. That is how he made all fans feel. No matter your religion, creed or color, we were one. We were the fans of the world, and we were a team. We were all the Avengers and the Justice League, and that was the emotion that Jon Schnepp always exuded. He may be gone, but he’ll never be forgotten. He was not only a giant man, but he was someone with great presence.
Rest In Peace Jon Schnepp. It’s time for another adventure, and I hope you’re talking with the greats. Steve Ditko’s ear must be raw from all of the questions.
To conclude this tribute, I wanted to share some words from the Man of Steel himself, Henry Cavill:
“I just wanted to wish the late Jon Schnepp a very peaceful rest. A man of many skills but I first came across his work and his opinions on Collider.com where his reviews and analyses were always a joy to watch (even when they didn’t go my way). I never knew him, but I am sad to hear that he has gone. He was the first person I ever heard use the term “sweaty” in reference to all of us nerds. I wish I had to the chance to wax lyrical with him about Supes and all the other heroes that matter to all of us. Jon, you will be missed.”