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Fanbase Press Interviews Christi Furnas on the Upcoming Release of the Graphic Novel, ‘Crazy Like a Fox: Adventures in Schizophrenia,’ Through Street Noise Books

The following is an interview with Christi Furnas on the upcoming release of her graphic novel, Crazy Like a Fox: Adventures in Schizophrenia, through Street Noise Books. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Furnas about her creative process in bringing the personally inspired narrative to life on the page, what she hopes that readers may take away from the story, and more!

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of Crazy Like a Fox!  For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the story’s premise?

Christi Furnas: Thank you! I’m super excited! I’m in a little bit of disbelief.

Crazy Like a Fox: Adventures in Schizophrenia is a coming-of-age story that takes a turn. Fox Foxerson comes to a new city with the dream of becoming an artist. Fox goes about making friends, finding love, employment, and housing. Things are easy until they are not when Fox has a psychotic break and is sent to the emergency room. Navigating the mental health industry takes over, and Fox has to deal with reactions from friends and lovers, not to mention, stay employed and housed while symptoms of a psychotic disorder ramp up. The subject matter is dark but every scene is created to reflect my sense of humor. 

BD: What can you tell us about your creative process in bringing this story and characters to life on the page, and how much of your own experiences influenced your narrative? 

Christi Furnas

CF: To start, I drew Fox to talk about my experience with schizophrenia. I moved to Minneapolis in my late teens and was just settling into adulthood when it hit. This project began (much later, in 2016) with the idea of getting some of the stories onto the page. I thought of the title, then started sketching Fox. I love Fox’s tail; it is fun and expressive. 
I created Snake, Worm, Dodo, and Jellyfish Boss Lady to give us all a little emotional distance from my life during that time. The story came first, and I developed the characters who best fit each situation. The creatures were a way to make me laugh at what I can now look back on as a tale to tell, instead of being in the thick of it. Goth Fairy was different, in that they were created as a mesh of two different friends. One is a little goth and one is a little fairy. So, I tried to imagine what that would look like, and came up with their fabulous wings and tail. 

BD: What makes Street Noise the perfect home for this story?

CF: First was the look; the Street Noise website is cool as hell. I love the mission statement and the complexity and diversity of the stories Liz Frances is putting out there. I would definitely recommend that people browse the Street Noise titles. They hold no punches. A couple of my favorite titles so far are: Gay Giant by Gabriel Ebensperger and Silence, Full Stop by Karina Shor. But, I have to say that what I am most impressed by during this process is Liz’s kindness, attentiveness, passion, and care about all the details. She maintains unflappable professionalism while I’m over here having mini-nervous breakdowns because it’s really a book!

BD: Graphic Medicine is an emerging genre that combines the field of medicine with the medium of comics. How do you feel that Graphic Medicine stories like this one can help to better depict not only the coming-of-age experience, but also the lived experience of working through mental health disorders?

CF: I love that comics and graphic novels are gaining the respect that they deserve. My first experience with the term Graphic Medicine was when I found Draw Stronger by Kriota Willberg, published by Uncivilized Books. I love the illustration of Batman doing Pilates, thinking to himself, “”
My mental health affects my concentration. I’m selective in the way I take in information because television, talk radio, and even a regular book can trigger auditory hallucinations. I mostly listen to music, look at art, and I love comics/graphic novels. Illustrations communicate a sense of place, or feeling, or emotion more economically. I feel this genre widens the audience. It is also accessible to younger people, as well as those who don’t think of themselves as readers.

BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums.  How do you feel that this story may connect with and impact readers?

CF: I’ve printed and sold mini-comics with Fox. The reactions have been overwhelmingly positive, so I’m excited. Also, nervous. But mostly excited. When I was first diagnosed, I wish someone would have talked real to me. All the healthcare professionals tip-toed around my issues. My friends and family had no idea what was going on. I found that my cat, my art, and a sense of humor were the powers that kept me alive. I believe this book will help people know they are not alone. It will also help family and friends of people with a psychotic illness learn what the experience can be like. 
During one of my mini-comic events, one couple shared that their son was just diagnosed with schizophrenia. I told them that he was still their son, and the diagnosis is a way to find help with treatment and resources. His diagnosis does not and should not define him.

BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers? 

CF: May 17-19 there is a huge art festival in Northeast Minneapolis called Art-a-Whirl. My studio is in the Solar Arts Building, located in the arts district. Everyone in the neighborhood opens their doors to sell art. The event always sneaks up on me. I’ve got mini-comics, I’ll be signing and selling books, and right now I’m making art and prepping my studio.
So far that’s it, other than writing and drawing and taking one day at a time and doing my best to stay sane.

BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Crazy Like a Fox?

CF: Visit Street Noise at or follow me on Instagram (@christifurnas) or sign up for my newsletter on my website,

Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief




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