Don Donahue, Comic Book Publisher


Don Donahue, Comic Book Publisher

Dakin Warehouse

Walter H. Ratcliff, Jr., Architect, 1906
designated in 2004
2750 Adeline Street

In the near-windowless Dakin Warehouse (a remodeled City of Berkeley Landmark) on the NW corner of Adeline and Stuart streets, Don Donahue together with a host of other free-spirited artists and musicians lived on the second floor above Scooby’s vintage toy store/cabinet-of-wonders. Donahue’s Apex Novelties launched the underground comix movement in 1968 with the publication of R. Crumb’s ZAP #1. Apex went on to publish many stellar underground cartoonists, including Bill Griffiths, Art Spiegelman, and S. Clay Wilson. While living there—from the early 1980s to 2002—Donahue became the world’s largest dealer of underground/alternative comix. Thousands of volumes, stacked in storage boxes, floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall, filled his quarters.

Donahue published radical political materials in the 70s including those of the Black Panther Party and the Symbionese Liberation Army. He also achieved notoriety for his arrest for illegal possession of a human head, for which he had swapped an eight-legged pig.

Contributed by Bob Levin, 2011

  • Dakin Warehouse, BAHA Archives.

  • Dakin Warehouse, photo Historic

  • Remodeled Dakin Warehouse (2011), photo, R.Kehlmann.

  • Don Donahue background.

  • Cover Zap Comix #1 (1968), Art by R. Crumb, Apex Novelties.

Photo credit abbreviations:
BAHA: Berkeley Architectural Heritage Assn.
BHS: Berkeley Historical Society