John Semper Jr. has been developing, writing and producing television and film for the last twenty five years, with a special emphasis on children’s television and animation. His extensive and extremely varied writing and story-editing (head writer) credits include multiple episodes of such classic and well-known animated shows as “Scooby-Doo,” “Smurfs,” “The Jetsons” (Hanna-Barbera Productions); “My Little Pony,” “The Moondreamers,” (Marvel Productions); “Duck Tales” (Disney); “Alvin and the Chipmunks” (NBC Productions); and many others. He produced, story-edited and wrote the “Fraggle Rock” animated series for Jim Henson Productions and he co-created the original, live-action “Dog City,” also for Jim Henson.
Early in his career, he had the pleasure of directing animation icon Walter Lantz in a live-action and animated clip compilation short film that Mr. Semper wrote for Universal Studios/Walter Lantz Productions. The film, entitled “Walter, Woody and the World of Animation,” played for one year in a special exhibit devoted to Mr. Lantz on the Universal Studios Tour. It has since been released by Universal for sale on DVD. A copy of the film was donated by Mr. Lantz to the Smithsonian Institution.
Mr. Semper is probably best known for his work as both producer and head writer on “Spider-Man: The Animated Series,” the hit action-adventure animated series for Fox Television, based upon Marvel’s pre-eminent super-hero character. Mr. Semper worked directly with Spider-Man’s creator, Stan Lee, in bringing this popular character to the TV screen. Mr. Semper’s script for “Day of the Chameleon” was nominated for an Annie Award, the animation industry’s highest honor.
He subsequently received an Emmy nomination for his work at Warner Brothers Television Animation as story-editor and writer for the successful series “Static Shock” based on the D.C. Comics character. Mr. Semper’s feature film writing credits include the live-action comedy “Class Act,” released by Warner Brothers.
Fans of Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki have appreciated Mr. Semper’s English language scripts for the Disney-released feature films “Laputa: The Castle in the Sky” and “Kiki’s Delivery Service.”
Mr. Semper’s pre-school children’s television show credits include the puppet series “Puzzle Place” for P.B.S., which he helped develop, and the long-running, popular “Jay Jay the Jet Plane,” currently airing on P.B.S., for which he served as developer, writer, executive story-editor and producer. Several of his stories featuring the “Jay Jay” characters have been adapted into children’s books. In the interactive computer software field, Mr. Semper has written for Disney (“The Hercules Interactive Storybook”), Knowledge Adventure (“The X-Men Cartoon Maker” and “The Spider-man Cartoon Maker”), Broderbund and LucasArts Entertainment.
Mr. Semper also worked personally with George Lucas developing projects for the George Lucas Educational Foundation.
Mr. Semper lives in the Los Angeles area where he continues to develop and write numerous projects for television and feature films. He is a member of the Writers Guild of America, The Animation Guild, the Motion Picture Editors Guild and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Recently, he has written for the “Justice League Action” animated series for Warner Bros Animation, and currently he is writing the CYBORG comic book for DC.