Get to Know Your Zinester: Michel Valdes

What was your first zine about and when was it made?

My first zine was called School Daze and I made it in 2005. It’s all about a year working as a teacher’s assistant at an elementary school. Making copies, grading homework, holding sweaters during four square battles and being a shoulder to cry on after a fight about not sharing cookies. One of the best years of my life.

Describe your most recent zine.

A couple of zines I’ve been working on that I hope to have ready for the zine fest are School Pit – a direct rip-off of Ben Snakepit’s comic journal style about the fall semester of my 8th year as a middle school teacher. Prius of Death Tour – in which I basically stalked a band all the way through Texas in a Toyota Prius at the age of 32. This Summer is Haunted is about jumping on a Greyhound bus and spending an enlightening 8 hours in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Of all the things you’ve ever made, zine-related or otherwise, what’s your one favorite?

All the zines I’ve written about being a teacher are pretty special to me.

Name three of your influences and how they affected your work.

Dave Roche wrote a zine called On Subbing back in the day. After reading his zines, I wanted so bad to tell my stories of working with kids with at least a tenth of his humor and personal honesty.

Blurt #1-3 and Tales of a Traveling Panty Salesman were zines that I read over and over. Lou’s stories made me want to be on tour.

Snakepit forever…

For more from Michel, check out their Tumblr.

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