Sunday, November 28, 2010

In Memorium: Don Donahue

My brother called yesterday to mention that Don Donahue had passed away late in October. I have mentioned in some past posts that my brother David, has been amassing lots of underground comix from the 1960's & 1970's. Well, a huge chunk of his acquisitions over the last few years had come straight from Don Donahue. David had tried to talk Don into visiting Charlotte's annual Heroes Convention during their correspondence, but Don always declined.

Don was not only a comic book publisher, he was one of the founders of the underground comix movement in the 1960s. In San Francisco in 1968, Donahue traded his hi-fi tape player to poet Charles Plymell for a Multilith printing press and issued the very first, 20-page black-and-white issue of Robert Crumb's Zap Comix #1. Donahue later founded Apex Novelties, which published numerous influential comics from the underground movement, including works by Kim Deitch, Shary Flenniken, Justin Green, Bill Griffiths, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton and Art Spiegelman.

He was also the partner of cartoonist Dori Seda, and inherited the rights to her work following her early death at the age of 37. Don published Dori Stories, a compilation of her comics in her honor.

Don Donahue died of prostrate cancer on October 27, 2010. The Catacombs extends its belated condolences to his family and friends. [Photo (above;top) copyright Clay Geerdes, 1982]

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