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For anyone who’s ever experienced the joys and frustrations of teaching, you should read Paping. Paping #16, The Teacher’s Edition, is a collection of John Meijias’ teaching stories and comics from the first eight issues of Paping.

Named after his Puerto Rican father’s nickname, the artwork of Paping is painstakingly crafted and printed from linocuts by Mejias, an art teacher who taught grades three to five in the Bronx and on Long Island.

His stories are both sad and hilarious, delving into the lives of some of his more memorable students while dealing with the frustrations of teaching in public schools that care more about improving test scores than providing kids with real skills. Some of the characters are so absurd you just know he couldn’t have made them up.

Paping is part homage to New York, part homage to his students and to art education. According to his website, paping.org, Mejias also organizes soapbox derby events. Why didn’t I ever have an art teacher that did that? (Michelle Kay)

zine, paping.org, speedymyshka@aol.com

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