Upon first seeing the title, the creator-owned webcomic Fox & Willow sounds like a very sweet, feel-good story that probably involves a young girl in the woods and her talking fox friend. And so it is — but with much more to it!
The first issue, Came a Harper, opens with a lot of mysteries and questions. We meet Willow, a princess who is banished for unknown reasons, starving in the woods. Her only companion is a hilariously obnoxious fox spirit named Gideon, who in addition to his usual fox appearance can also take on that of a very handsome young man (with fox ears and a tail). We don’t know what these two are running from or why, or where their adventures will ultimately take them. What we do know is that these two make for a fabulous pair of adventurers with quirky personalities and a fun relationship.
According to creators Aimo Ahmed and Allison Pang, Fox & Willow is based on “a series of contemporary fairy tales.” The comic has elements of magic in it, a slightly anime feel in the gorgeous artwork mingling with a slightly Disney feel in the fact that a princess is out in the woods with her talking animal companion, and the over-all feel that something wonderful and magical is about to happen in this—along with excitement and shocking revelations that must come in every great adventure.
So far in their adventures, Willow and Gideon have had an intriguing beginning to their adventures. The webcomic opens with them discovering a dried skeleton in the woods who is still clutching a mysterious jeweled necklace. After taking it carefully from its grasp, the pair of adventurers go to a house in a clearing to ask for food, and they agree (to Gideon’s dismay) to spend the night in the barn.
Fox & Willow gets a new page every Monday and Thursday, and the site also has a blog and links to a Tumblr and a YouTube account that all show some of the behind-the-scenes progress on the comic. It’s fun to watch as the story unfolds and interesting to try to work out what will happen when it is more developed. Right now, as we’re still in the first issue, Fox & Willow does not have a whole lot to go on by way of reputation. It appears to be family friendly (with a bit of covered nudity) and so far has successfully carried with it the feel of a modern fairy tale. If the saga continues as it has started, it will definitely make for a worthwhile read—especially if you’re in the mood for a good, old-fashioned fairy tale-style adventure.