On July 19, 2018 a huge influence in my creative life passed away. His name was Jon Schnepp.
I was blessed for the past 4+ years to watch Jon week in and week out share his love and passion for all things comics, sci-fi, horror and genre on the AMC & Collider YouTube channels. He was a big man with a big personality and an even bigger love for fandom.
He coined the term “Sweaty” as an endearing term for fans. As Amy Dallen, co-host of Collider Heroes, explained:
[A SWEATY is when] You love something and that’s not necessarily flattering. Maybe you look real dumb; maybe you’ll have pit stains. That’s who you are and that is your authentic response to the thing that you love, and that’s special and worth celebrating.
Hearing the news of his passing effected me a lot more than I imagined. I never met Jon, but he was a mentor and motivator. He greatly believed in being authentically you, and sharing your loves and passions with the world.
In a recent post by Ken Napzok on The Napzok Files, he recounted his last encounter with the big man:
Jon powerfully preached to me the importance of accepting your unique voice. Accepting that you bring value to the conversation, the game, and building on that. He could have gone back to several of the jobs and corners of his career at any point, but would he have been happy? Probably not. Jon told me how much he loved what had sprung up out of just him being himself. And on this day… he looked me directly in the eyes and passionately told me that I had to accept what value I had.
It’s a powerful message and one that is not easy for a lot of us. No matter what you do or who you are it is sometimes the harsh truth that we can’t look ourselves in the mirror and say, “I have value.”
Jon Schnepp’s love for fandom and the geek community was utterly contagious, and will be greatly missed. I’ll stay Forever Sweaty in his honor.