Friday, December 7, 2012

Fox & Willow

Fox & Willow link

As web comics go, this one has better than average artwork. That is what initially got my attention. At the time of this writing it is relatively early on in it's run. After completing the archives it was time to look deeper into what this book is about.

So far it is a light fantasy. There are panels that seem to revert to a heavier manga-like influence, but the art is not overly manga- which is refreshing. It must be mentioned that there are light NSFW images occasionally, but these are infrequent and not without taste.

What was most interesting is that Fox & Willow is the product of a collaboration. That is unusual in the world of web comics. Here's an article about the two creators:

For comic artists, the world has become smaller with the Web. Things unthinkable a decade ago is doable today at the touch of the finger.

For US-based urban fantasy novelist Allison Pang, the network world has enabled her to engage with comic artists continents apart and to work together like they are in the same office.

Her online comic initiative, Fox & Willow, is a collaboration with Irma "Aimo" Ahmed who is based in Kuala Lumpur.

"This is my first attempt at writing a comic. I´m an urban fantasy novelist, but I´ve always loved the webcomic/graphic novel medium and I want to give it a try," says Pang.

Her comic can be viewed at

Although they have never met in person, that is not a problem. "We´re about 12 hours apart time-wise, but we both keep fairly late hours so there´s always a bit of overlap. We email sometimes, but most of our communication is via instant messaging, twitter or even iMessage via our iPads," she says.

Pang often gets pictures of the sketches via the iPad from Irma. "It´s a fast and easy way to see how things are progressing. Irma will also sometimes LiveStream as we chat," she says.

Otherwise, they have one formal online "meeting" scheduled each week to go over the process, informal chats at random and all their files are kept in a DropBox cloud.

"So any time there are changes to a script or artwork, we’re both in the loop," says Pang.

For a "distance" collaboration like this, there are challenges that both Pang and Irma have to face, but a clear plan and objective help them wave through the challenges.

"There has to be a clear delineation of goals and milestones, and that requires professionalism. We each have ´real world´ jobs and working on a project like this still requires commitment," says Pang.

There´s also no room for egos. Although they developed the concept of the storyline together and talk about it almost daily, Pang writes the story and Irma interprets it graphically. "We have to point out things that aren´t working without worrying about hurting each other´s feelings. It needs to stay fun," says Pang.

Fox And Willow is probably going to be a very large project, and Pang is in for the long haul.

"I would love to continue working with Aimo. I´m open to anything else she might want to work on," she says.

In the meantime, she has another collaboration, the fifth issue of Womanthology: Space, which is published by IDW, with artist Chrissie Zullo. It is due next year.

by Izwan Ismail

Published Date : 04 June 2012  

Source : NST, Life & Times
Irma Suriani Ahmed (known as aimo) has a DeviantArt account here to see more of her artwork. Outside of Fox & Willow, it seems she lets her manga-influenced work free.

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