How I Became a Fox


Are you sitting comfortably?

Yes. Good. This won’t take long. :)

Then allow the two of us, William Ellwood and Calliope Den Ouden, to present a short Transrealist fantasy comic called “How I Became A Fox”.

Will’s Comments:

In the introduction above I mentioned that “How I Became a Fox” is a intended to be a Transrealist fantasy, this warrants, I think, some explaining. Transrealism is an approach to speculative fiction used by many, but formalized by the mad genius Rudy Rucker in his 1983 Transrealist Manifesto. It’s an approach to writing that I am sympathetic to and I have adopted many of its ideas as my own. The quick and easy definition of Transrealism provided by Rudy is: “… the notion of basing SF on real ideas and real emotions that I personally have, and using immediate reality-based perceptions.”

So what’s real in this Transrealist fantasy? Once, way back in Feburary 2010, I was walking from a friend’s house, past the train station and towards the bus station in Leicester, feeling rather sorry for myself for all the usual reasons, when a fox ran out in front of me and across a dual carriageway. This comic is an attempt to blend that image of the urban fox and the self-pity with the idea that transformation into a wild animal could be a form of magical palliative care.


William Ellwood is a speculative fiction writer from Leicester, England who writes short fiction which comments on contemporary politics and hacker culture. He occasionally writes for the strange culture blog Ectoplasmosis. His personal website is located at

Calliope den Ouden is an illustrator from Utrecht, the Netherlands who draws and shapes illustrations. Annually she kick-starts the nanographicmo an international event that challenges creatives to create an 48 page black and white graphic novel in under a month. Her portfolio website is located at


  1. Barkeron June 26, 2011

    Oh, that looks sweet. And there I thought I would hate everything related to Rucker and his twaddle, silly me.

  2. Magnulus June 28, 2011

    Oh hey! A collab between two people whom I like quite a lot! I’m not complaining! : D

    I would have loved to see it delve more into the emotions and drives of the man as man and man as fox. Why does he need it? Why would he want to change back? If he changes back, what has changed about him? I see this comic as a good start to something larger, using the transrealism to not just delve into that one moment in your life but extrapolate the “what if…” of switching places with the fox.

    So yeah, I quite enjoyed that comic, and I think your writing and Calliope’s drawings mesh well, but I feel I’ve been reading the concept and am waiting for the story.

  3. Andreas Fuchs July 1, 2011

    Hah! Well done! I can confirm this is what it’s like to turn into a fox (-:

  4. Garak September 6, 2011
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