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Melanie was the first person to become a fixture in Ivy's life once she ventured out on her own. She first appeared in issue #179 when she encountered sweet little two-year-old Ivy on the merry-go-round by herself and appointed herself the child's caretaker. Though she was only eight years old at the time, she attempts to mother Ivy--something of a reaction to being mostly ignored by her own caretakers.

Melanie is a bit foul-mouthed and has a heavy NYC accent, and despite having a good heart, she picked up many bad habits from bad parenting. With an alcoholic single mother and a fifteen-year-old sister who didn't supervise at all when she was supposed to, Melanie ends up very independent. It's through her that Ivy began to both communicate more and take the upper hand in caring for herself when there was no adult around.

Melanie met Ivy at that age where her beliefs about reality hadn't exactly settled in yet, so once Ivy's abilities became known to her she din't have much of an issue in adjusting. She considered Ivy a magical creature, and she was a little jealous of Ivy's powers but mostly just took the weirdness in stride. She often brought stolen treats for Ivy and often talked over the toddler's head while trying to teach her.

Melanie's own home issues come into the story eventually, interfering with her ability to continue to take care of Ivy, but her own life and Ivy's life were enhanced by each other . . . even if Ivy was too young during their friendship to take the memories into her adult life.

My favorite Melanie pictures (click on the small pictures to see large, good quality scans):


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