When Western Publishing editor Del Connell passed away in 2011, Disney historian Brian Sibley wrote the following obituary for The Guardian:

One night in the 1960s, at the height of the US-Soviet space race, a middle-aged comic-book writer, Del Connell, stood in his backyard in California watching one of the regular rocket tests by NASA’s Saturn engine suppliers, Rocketdyne, and had a thought. How would it be if a 20th-century family were, in the manner of the Swiss Family Robinson, cast away in space? The first issue of his Space Family Robinson was published in December 1962. Three years later, the idea was reborn (with the Robinsons, but without attribution to Connell) as Irwin Allen’s successful television show Lost in Space, which ran for three seasons and in its turn inspired a 1998 feature film.

It is characteristic of the work of Connell, who has died aged 93, that, despite having written thousands of the comic strips and books that were the regular reading matter for a generation of youngsters in America and around the world, his name is virtually unknown.

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