Daniël Omer de Kesel, better known as Nonkel Fons, was born in Adegem in Flanders, Belgium in 1912. Encouraged by his parents, he joined the order of the Norbertines in the abbey of Averbode. In 1932, he made his debut as a writer of children's stories in Zonneland, where he became an editor two years later. From 1936, he was responsible for all youth publications of publisher De Goede Pers: magazines like Zonneland, Zonnestraal, Zonnekind and Doremi which were distributed in schools. The pseudonym Nonkel Fons (Uncle Fons) was created when De Kesel started his column in Zonneland, speaking to the children directly, acting a bit like their confessional priest.
Artwork by Gray
Thanks to Daniël de Kesel's initiative, these Goede Pers publications started carrying comics, starting with the work of Jan Waterschoot in 1937. Nonkel Fons acquired a whole staff of comic artists and writers, including Renaat Demoen, John Flanders, Gray Croucher and Roger Exelmans. Throughout his career, Nonkel Fons was a fervent defender of comics as a means of education. In 1984, he retired from his editorial activities.