Robert Schnakenberg

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Robert Schnakenberg
Born (1969-03-19) March 19, 1969 (age 48)
Huntington, New York
Pen name Paul Casanova, Montague John Druitt, William Gull, Elliott Larkfield, John Pizer, J.K. Stephen, Seth Strummer, Nguyen van Foch, David Stabler
Nationality American

Robert Schnakenberg (born March 19, 1969) [1] is a self-styled “author and raconteur”[2] from Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for writing comic books, as well as a series of popular reference books about entertainment, sports, and world history.

Early life[edit]

Schnakenberg was born in Huntington, New York, birthplace of Walt Whitman. As a young man, he worked as a tour guide at the Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site. He also worked as a security guard at the Heckscher Museum of Art. His father, William D. Schnakenberg, was a longtime employee of the United States Postal Service and the onetime mailman for jazz great Louis Armstrong. His uncle, Donald Schnakenberg, was the director of finance for the New York City Council during the mayoralty of Edward I. Koch.[3]

Schnakenberg is a graduate of John Glenn High School in Elwood, New York. He attended New York University and Stony Brook University, where his professors included the poet Louis Simpson, the novelist Thomas Flanagan, and celebrated "Death of God" theologian Thomas J.J. Altizer. Schnakenberg's personal affect during this period has been likened to that of an "edgy Peter Bonerz."


Comic books[edit]

Schnakenberg began his career in the early 1990s as the head writer for Personality Comics, an independent publisher specializing in pornographic, parody, and biographical comic books. He authored more than 50 comic books under a variety of pseudonyms, including the popular Spoof Comics parodies Fantastic Femmes and X-Babes. He created the superheroine Headlights and authored the groundbreaking AIDS awareness superhero comic Healthman. His 1992 comic book Soul Trek, a humorous mash-up of Star Trek and Soul Train, is part of the permanent collection of The Museum of Uncut Funk, a virtual museum “dedicated to the celebration and preservation of the Funk.” [4]

Schnakenberg’s artistic collaborators during this period included Allan Jacobsen, Adam Pollina, Ron Joseph, Ken Becker, Garrett Berner, Keith Quinn, Scott Harrison, and Kirk Lindo. Schnakenberg also wrote sports comics for Personality’s main competitor, Revolutionary Comics.[5]

After retiring from comic book publishing in 1994, Schnakenberg returned to the field in 2010 as a freelance contributor for the biographical comic book company Bluewater Productions. He authored the popular Michelle Obama: Year One comic along with biographies of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, telejournalist Barbara Walters, and others.

Schnakenberg is the subject of a forthcoming monograph entitled Lunacy and Sorrow: The Life and Art of Robert Schnakenberg, to be published in 2017 by SUNY/Brockport University Press.


Since the mid-1990s, Schnakenberg has worked primarily as a writer and self-described “intellectual gadabout” covering topics in sports, entertainment, and history. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Encyclopedia Shatnerica (an A-to-Z reference about the life and career of William Shatner), Christopher Walken A-to-Z, and the New York Times bestseller The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray. His 2010 book, Old Man Drinks, was praised for evoking "the simple, timeless aspects of masculine drinking culture."[6]

In 2014, after a period of self-imposed "exile" from traditional publishing, Schnakenberg re-emerged using the "kid-friendly alter ego" David Stabler.[7] Stabler's first book for children, Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America's Presidents, was published in October 2014 by Quirk Books.

Published works[edit]


External links[edit]