Zuiker Press, described as an “issue-based” graphic novel literary house dedicated to championing the voices of young authors, will publish its first two titles this November. In all, eight titles are in production, with two planned for each of the spring and fall seasons through spring 2021.
Simon & Schuster will handle distribution for Zuiker Press titles. Anthony Zuiker will serve as Zuiker Press’ co-founder, publisher, and creative director, while Michelle Zuiker is co-founder and chief content officer.
Up first are Mend: A Story of Divorce and Click: A Story of Cyberbullying. Mend, written by Sophia Recca with illustrations by Garry Leach, chronicles an 11-year-old girl’s heartbreak when her parents unexpectedly announced their divorce. Click, by Alexandra Philips with illustrations by Leach, depicts a young teenager’s torment in the world of online harassment. Both are available for pre-order on Amazon.
The books use the young authors’ own words compiled through interviews (Anthony Zuiker is listed as contributor to Mend and Click), presented in graphic novel format. The authors and their families will be involved in the promotion of the books, with additional material including interviews available on ZuikerPress.com.
“We are proud to sign with Simon & Schuster to help bring to market our mission to give voice to young people who truly have the opportunity to change lives,” said Michelle Zuiker, a teacher for 17 years at Las Vegas’ Vanderburg Elementary, ranked by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the nation’s “Blue Ribbon Schools.” One of her focuses has been working with special needs children, particularly those on the autism spectrum.
The Zuikers said the idea to launch the literary house came about through Michelle’s teaching career and the couple’s personal experience with “the challenges that they saw with their own children and those their friends face.”
Said Anthony Zuiker: “We’ve listened to them and their friends. Young people of today want to help others to overcome their personal struggles.”
Michael Perlman, VP and General Manager of Simon & Schuster Publisher Services, said, “We are thrilled to work with the team at Zuiker Press to introduce their innovative and important books to readers. They are passionate in their mission, and we are pleased to welcome them to our family of distribution clients.”
Among the topics to be addressed in upcoming Zuiker titles: body dysmorphia, school shootings, transgender issues, suicide and opioid addiction. Each book will include educational support materials for educators and parents.
Anthony Zuiker created the CSI franchise, which kicked off in 2000 with CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and went on to include CSI: Miami, CSI: NY and, the last of the franchise, CSI: Cyber, which ended in 2016.