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Arts & Entertainment

Best Comic Book 

GodRon Turner, Last Gasp Comics

It's ok to be a pervert. To be a deviant means to depart from the norm, to challenge — and, maybe, to defeat — soul-stultifying convention. Here, we still value freaks and cherish stewards of the freak kingdom. Could you imagine the lame sameness of a world without the art and apostasy of R. Crumb, Bill Griffith, and the other out-crowd artists and minds put on the page and made immortal by San Francisco comic book publishing house Last Gasp — and could you imagine Last Gasp without Ron Turner? A self-styled "critic" whose in-person presence — often marked by a long white beard and topped with a red Fez, possibly stolen from a Shriner's gathering before he was removed for rank insubordination — Turner has kept an underground comic book publishing empire alive for five decades (all while sneaking in visits to John's Grill or the O'Farrell Theatre). Occupying the top floor of a block-sized warehouse space in the Mission District — available to visit for the occasional event; worth whatever the price of admission for a glimpse at Turner's collection of World War II memorabilia, the occasional medical oddity, and a 19th-century Steinway with wonderful sound — Last Gasp's vitality lies in its never-ending acceptance of the unacceptable. It would not exist with Turner, and San Francisco would be worse off and blander for it.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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