Jon Schnepp is trying to find a good way to explain what he does. He directs animated shows, but they aren’t the kind of shows that kids watch. When he tells people he works on “adult cartoons,” the reaction is almost always the same.
“You mean like porno?” Schnepp reiterates in a joking voice.
He’ll sometimes say “grown-up cartoons,” but, inevitably, all roads lead back to porn.
Instead, Schnepp works on the weirdo animated trips we take when procrastination prompts us to flip through cable channels in the middle of the night. He’s best known for Metalocalypse, which begins its fourth season on April 29. He’s worked on the show since the beginning, directing episodes and the Dethklok concert videos, as well as designing the characters. He spent one six-month break from Metalocalypse co-directing season four of The Venture Bros. He did some work on Aqua Teen Hunger Force, where he designed backgrounds and voiced a couple characters. His big break was Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, where he edited interviews and animated footage into the surreal show that essentially launched Adult Swim.
You might recognize Schnepp from Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope. A 14-year veteran of the convention, he’s featured in the film a lot. He’s also one of the busiest people in the business. Schnepp just finished a pilot for Spike TV, which he can’t discuss, and is currently developing three different cartoons. He contributed a live-action short to the forthcoming horror anthology, ABCs of Death. This year, he says, is the first year in his career, which goes back to the mid-1990s, where he has turned down gigs.
But the project that’s at the forefront of Schnepp’s mind is one that’s still searching for funding. Schnepp is set to direct the animated version of Zenescope’s hit comic, Grimm Fairy Tales.