A Who’s Who of Lowbrow Art | April 1, 2010, 6pm until late
Four decades | 300+ comix | 250+ books | Artists too numerous to count
Legendary underground publisher Last Gasp turns 40 this year and to celebrate, they are throwing a party and art show at 111 Minna Gallery.
The Last Gasp 40th Anniversary Art Show assembles a top-drawer lineup of artists – the haut monde of lowbrow. Over the past four decades, Last Gasp has published hundreds of artists in the underground comix and kustom kulture, to pop surrealism and street art movements
Artists in the show include: Gary Baseman, Tim Biskup Glenn Barr, Robert Crumb, Richard Corben, Guy Colwell, Ron English, Tony Fitzpatrick, Christopher Felver, Camille Rose Garcia, Justin Green, Bill Griffith, Rick Griffin, Ed Hardy, Frank Kozik, Joe Ledbetter, Carol Lay, Adrian Lee, Michael Manning, Chris Mars, Scott Musgrove, Junko Mizuno, Liz McGrath, Laurenn McCubbin, Mitch O’Connell, Annie Owens, The Pizz, Mark Ryden, Michael Rosen, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, Dori Seda, Winston Smith, Eric White, Robert Williams, Attaboy, Aye Jay, and many more to be announced.
Writers, including San Francisco Poet Laureate Diane DiPrima will do a reading. Design radicals GAMA-GO will produce a limited edition tee shirt for the event.
Last Gasp founder and publisher Ron Turner is available for interviews. Book covers, interior art, and other images available upon request.21 + over; Free and open to the public
(415) 974-1719 www.111minnagallery.com
Contact: Jay Howell firstname.lastname@example.org
About Last Gasp
Last Gasp is one of the largest and oldest publishers and purveyors of underground books & comics in the world, as well as being a distributor of all sorts of weird ‘n’ wonderful subversive literature, graphic novels, tattoo and art books.
Last Gasp was founded in 1970 by Ron Turner. Last Gasp’s first publication, Slow Death Funnies #1 came out on the first “Earth Day,” April 15, 1970. Subsequent comics included the all-women’s comic It Ain’t Me Babe, and Skull Comics. Over the years they have published, and in some cases brought to light, some of the most respected and talented artists working today, including such luminaries as R. Crumb, Mark Ryden, Justin Green, Bill Griffith, Frank Kozik, Todd Schorr, Winston Smith, Spain Rodriguez, and Robert Williams to name but a few.
Ron Turner’s enthusiasm for underground comics, and in particular their autobiographical aspect, has been the driving force behind many groundbreaking publications. Last Gasp published Justin Green’s highly acclaimed confessional Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary in 1972, a book that became an inspiration to many artists now working in the autobiographical style. “Art Spiegelman, who won the only Pulitzer Prize for cartooning, has said he would never have started to do the autobiographical story of his family (in the graphic novel Maus) unless Justin had done it first. And Robert Crumb said the same thing,” said Turner.
Today, Last Gasp publishes 12-20 new titles per year, focusing on Lowbrow and Pop Surrealist artists, as well as graphic novels. The company has 18 full and part-time employees and is based in San Francisco. In addition to publishing, Last Gasp distributes for large and small publishers worldwide, providing a steady countercultural stream of books and other printed matter that spreads over six continents.
Last Gasp books have been glowingly reviewed in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Playboy, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, School Library Journal, Juxtapoz magazine, The Guardian (UK), Hi-Fructose magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Austin Chronicle, American Book Review, and The Los Angeles Times.
Co-publishing partners include La Luz de Jesus / Billy Shire Fine Arts, Porterhouse Fine Art Editions, San Jose Museum of Art, Grand Central Art Center, Smokemuse, JaPress, Moulinsart, Presspop Gallery, Ignition Publishing, NewSkool/Analog, Laguna Art Museum, and many more.
The readers of the San Francisco Bay Guardian named Last Gasp the Best Local Publisher in 2009.
First publications: Slow Death, 1970 (comic); Breather’s Guide to Invisible Air Polution (book) 1970