Founded in 1970 by Ron Turner to publish the ecologically-themed comics magazine Slow Death Funnies, followed by the all-female anthology It Ain't Me Babe, Last Gasp soon became a major part of the underground comics movement. Notable artists published by Last Gasp include Mark Ryden, Ron English, Camille Rose Garcia, Tim Biskup, Justin Green, Bill Griffith, Dori Seda, Robert Williams, Robert Crumb, and S. Clay Wilson.
Last Gasp today publishes few comic books. The company publishes art and photography books, graphic novels, fiction, and poetry. Last Gasp operates as a publisher, distributor, and wholesaler for books of all types, with an art and counterculture focus.