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Welcome to Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival, now in our 17th year. Festival dates are October 7-15, 2016. Events are all-ages unless noted otherwise. Book sales are offered when and where appropriate. Events without ticket reservations are first-come first served. Click the phone icon to the right below, to download our new mobile app version!

avatar for Ron Turner

Ron Turner

I am the founder of Last Gasp and I've been an outspoken supporter of artists, writers, and various misfits for over four decades. You may know me as "Baba Ron" in SF, and I've been fortunate enough to be a part of the past 50 years of local underground history including the "Summer of Love", the Mitchell Brothers Theater saga, a bizarre birthday party for political consultant Jack Davis (which marked "the end of civilization" according to some news outlets), and many other twisted tales.

I grew up in California's central valley in the 1940s and '50s, moving between small dusty farm towns around Fresno. When I was younger, I worked an array of jobs, including railroad brakeman, lab research assistant, dishwasher, and other various and sundry positions, before stumbling upon what was to become my life's work.

My roots in publishing began in the counterculture movement of the 1960s. After serving as one of the first thousand Peace Corps volunteers, I came back from Sri Lanka to Fresno for three years before coming to SF in '67 for grad school in Experimental Psychology. I was commuting back and forth while working on the trains in Fresno at that time. When I returned to the Bay Area after my service, I became deeply immersed in the free speech, civil rights, and student protest movements.

In 1970, a co-mingling of my love of radical politics and radical art produced the first Last Gasp publication - an underground comic book entitled Slow Death Funnies, created as a benefit for a Berkeley ecology center. Hundreds of genre-defining comic books were soon to follow, including Zap Comix, Weirdo Comix (edited by Robert Crumb), Slow Death, Tales Of The Leather Nun, Amputee Love, Wimmen's Comix, Binky Brown Meets The Holy Virgin Mary, Horny Biker Sluts, and many more...

Over the years, our focus here at Last Gasp has shifted from comics to a more diverse selection of books on subjects ranging from pop surrealism and graphic novels to beat poetry and photography. Though there have been various changes during the past 45 years, our commitment to free speech, unfettered creative expression, and freak culture has never wavered and remains the crux of the company to this day.