Zine Review: The Wolf of Church St: Kelvin + Melvin

Comic, Melanie Hider and Kelly McCluskey, [email protected], kelvin-melvin.tumblr.com, $3

The story of this lil’ comic is that its two main characters — Kelvin and Melvin — are actually the comic avatars of Kelly McClus­key and Melanie Hider, two best pals living in Toronto. Since 2012, they’ve collected their comic adventures (written by Hider and drawn by both friends) online at their Tumblr, and The Wolf of Church St gathers a bunch of these vignettes in print form. And holy crap, is it ever funny. It’s probably really lazy of me to compare Kelvin and Melvin’s adventures to the escapades of an­other very funny pair of female besties — Abbi and Ilana from the Comedy Central TV show Broad City — but fuck it; I love Broad City and I love Kelvin and Melvin.

Like those other broads, Kelvin and Melvin go out partying, hang out in the city at spots you might recognize (they sip coffee at Ella’s Uncle in Bloorcourt and go dancing at the Dakota Tavern) and generally just make fun of dating, their fellow Torontonians and most of all, each other. Each story is hilarious and just absurd enough to be charming. A lot of the humor centers around Melvin — who’s a lesbian — sharing her dating es­capes with the straight Kelvin; they troll OK Cupid for prospective matches and Kelvin listens patiently as Melvin moans over a missed sexy one-liner opportunity. My favorite storyline is when Melvin drags an anxious Kelvin to the monthly Steers and Queers party at the Dakota (Melvin assures her friend that she will “lesbo chop” any women who try to hit on her) and Kelvin shows up in her best country gear: a horse’s head. “You giving rides?” one admirer asks, until she gets summarily lesbo-chopped.

This comic is so damn cute and it’s such a nice depiction of a real friendship be­tween two very cool and funny women. The importance of their friendship isn’t hammered down our throats — it’s already made abundantly clear in these lightheart­ed, lovingly-drawn little stories. Buy one to share with your own best bud. (Alison Lang)