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Krystle Ratticus in Zineology: Milk Milk Lemonaid

A Parallel Planets piece by Nicole Lane

Parallel Planets presents Krystle Ratticus
in Zineology: Milk Milk Lemonaid
Zine Review by Nicole Lane

Mentioned: a selection of feelings, metaphorical boners, and name-dropping punk rock bands

* * *

The best thing about volunteering at a library filled with zines made by local creatives is the obvious: its a fucking zine library. But there is also a really incredible sense of community when you’re locked inside of a room full of artists that took their own hands and their own minds, and put together a selection of feelings, ramblings, photography or just plain chaos. Milk Milk Lemonaid: Drinkin’ Whiskey and Doin’ Pushups is a small (in size: 5.5 x 5.7) zine (with many pages: 60) that was created in the Spring of 2010 in the Chicago area. Printed in black and white with images that I recognize and some that I do not, the zine begins with a short and sweet love story and then dives into an introduction welcoming us as the reader to this fourteenth issue created by Krystle Ratticus.

The zine is a collection of written pieces which include made up stories – admittedly stated in the introduction by Krystle – about  metaphorical boners for Henry Rollins, Waffle House hash browns, and the last trace of Spring “hitch hiking its way back home.” It’s obvious that there must be some truths to these tales, as Krystle’s attention to detail and mention of local Chicago bars is far too exact to be completely fabricated – or is it? The creation of each narrative flows through the seasons of summer, autumn, spring, and winter. Each tale poetically and, sometimes tragically, describes Krystle’s relationships, friendships and missed connections as they encounter their life as a young individual living in the shadow of nostalgia and beyond.

The short story “Crawl Under the Porch for a Few Days” recants the life of a Chicago resident – the ugly, the bad, and the bottles that are smashed in the back of their work “because it helped.” Like many of the pieces in this zine, the text is grimy as hell, full of aggression and name dropping punk rock bands left and right. The text seems relatable, and affectionally so. Even though the writer is describing a dirty scene – a party that includes sweaty dance parties and sleep deprivation – the reader knows this youth and knows this scenario. Although our music may be different and our drinks of choice may vary, we have all lain on a dirty floor and expressed our deepest darkest secrets, ignoring our puffy eyes and slurring mouths. Here is an excerpt from the piece:

“It was hotter than a two dollar gun that day. Too damn hot to be folding zines & baking pies. The humidity had curled my greasy hair into the corn snakes of Medusa’s crown. & with that humidity comes the stench of the ‘spunk trees’. A smell, that folks have confessed to me turned them on. 

&&&&& I could almost smell the rotten odor before waking up with a sharpie X on my face from the entry stamp on my hand. Slowly I tried to put the pieces together...”

Each story is accompanied with a photo copy of a black and white image. They are selectively placed and do not appear on each and every page. The inclusion of these images allows the reader to create their own scene for what is occurring with the addition of descriptive words and imagery written by the author. Images dark and contrasted expose the seedy underbelly of a Chicago creative.

Krystle Ratticus has an etsy store called, “Ratticus Redeemed” where you can find zines and other little collections of goodies. The zine itself is located in hard copy (number 30 out of 50) at the Read/Write Library located at 914 N. California Avenue in Chicago.

More from Milk Milk Lemonaid: Etsy


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