Del Connell (1918-2011)
Del Connell, who was a veteran Disney animation artist, Western Publishing editor, and comic strip/book writer, passed away on August 12 at age 93. Connell started working at Disney in 1939. Among other accomplishments, he worked in Joe Grant’s Character Model department, served as a story artist on Alice in Wonderland, and wrote the shorts The Pelican and the Snipe and The Cold-Blooded Penguin.
In the 1950s, he started a thirty-year run at Western Publishing where he wrote and edited thousands of Dell and Gold Key comics featuring cartoon characters from Disney, Warner Bros., Walter Lantz, Hanna-Barbera, and MGM. He remained especially close to the Disney characters: he wrote Donald Duck comics for decades, scripted the Mickey Mouse newspaper strip between 1968 and 1988, and invented Goofy’s alter-ego Super Goof.
I never met Connell, but heard plenty of nice things about him from his colleague Pete Alvarado who worked with him at Western Publishing for many years. For more about Connell’s life and work, follow these links:
Extensive chronology and memories of Del Connell by his grandson
Remembrance by Mark Evanier
Recent article about Del in the The Bakersfield Californian
(story via Disney History blog; the Connell photo at the top of this post is taken from Mark Evanier’s remembrance post)