Carson Van Osten was a longtime Disney artist, working for many of the companies departments during period of over 40 years. After his studies at the Philadelphia College of Art, he started his career as a musician, however. He played bass in Todd Rundgren's first two bands, Woody's Truck Stop and The Nazz. He started his career at Disney as artist and scriptwriter for the studio's comic book production for the foreign market. Between 1970 and 1976, he produced numerous 'Mickey Mouse' stories, that were mainly scripted by Cal Howard.
Van Osten joined the comic strip department in 1974, where he worked alongside Floyd Gottfredson and Manuel Gonzales, and served as the department's art director from 1976 throughout the 1980s. He became a especially known for developing the Disney Comic Strip Artist’s Kit, that includes guidelines for the creation of Disney comics. From 1980, he provided art supervision and concepts for Disney Consumer Products, and served as the department's vice president, at first in the States (from 1988) and then in Paris, France (from 1994). He oversaw art productions and developed guidelines that became the basis for some of Disney's first licensing styleguides.
He also served as vice president of international creative development for the Disney Publishing Group. He played a huge role in many of Disney's international publishing projects. Van Osten himself provided the scripts for the comic book adaptation of the 'Atlantis: The Lost Empire' film, and of a couple of 'Mulan' stories. He has been mostly associated with the 'Mickey Mouse' character. His drawings of the character are featured on the Walt Disney Studios logo (and on the famous watertower in Burbank, California) and on the clock at the Disneyland Hotel in Paris.
Although he retired from Disney in 2000, he has continued to work on publishing projects and serve as a consultant on games like 'Disney Epic Mickey' and 'Where’s My Mickey?'. Carson van Osten was named a Disney Legend in August 2015. Sadly, he passed away at the end of that year.