The deal was agreed by Ricci’s Agent Lisa Hryniewicz, Managing Director of Koko Media and Ivanka Hahnenberger, Managing Director of VIP Brands.
Leading European Agency VIP Brands has taken on the worldwide English graphic novel rights to The Red Harlequin, based on the novels by Roberto Ricci and illustrated by Alessandro Tarabelli.
VIP Brands specializes in selling European rights into the US and other English speaking markets, with a specific expertise in graphic novels and comics. The agency represents some of the largest publishers in Europe such as Editions Glenat in France, and Carlsen Comics in Germany as well as Editions Makaka, and Editions Rue de l’Echiquier,
VIP have sold the English language rights to over 70 graphic novels and comics books, including two New York Times bestsellers: Blue is the Warmest Color (Arsenal Pulp) and Robert Moses (Nobrow). VIP also offers translation services from French and German into American English with over 40 translated books published.
Ivanka Hahnenberger, Managing Director of VIP comments, “When Lisa contacted me about this property I was very excited as first of all Lisa is known for being behind great ideas and second of all this is just the right time for YA graphic novel projects. The added value of an underlying bestselling YA novel series touching on current topics makes this property very appealing. We are very happy that Lisa and Roberto selected VIP Brands to represent the World English rights for this property.”
Lisa Hryniewicz, Managing Director of Koko Media added, “We are delighted to be working with one of the most knowledgeable and specialized graphic novels agents in Europe. Not only do VIP’s successes speak for themselves, but my own experience working with Ivanka on previous projects – and her passion for the project – makes me perfectly confident that The Red Harlequin will find its rightful home and become a success.”
The graphic novel is based on The Red Harlequin best-selling series of fast-paced, YA fantasy novels by Roberto Ricci. The first four in a series of ten planned books are sold on Amazon where they have topped several best-seller lists. French language rights are held by Editions Ada, a specialist in Youth, Young Adult and Adult fiction. Their top titles include the Divergent trilogy (Veronica Roth), Merlin series (T.A. Baron), Fablehaven (Brandon Mull), Beyonders (Brandon Mull), and the Sweep series (Cate Tiernan).
Book 1, Of Masks and Chromes, was first launched on digital platforms WATTPAD, where it shot to #12 on their Adventure/Fantasy list in two weeks and received 10,000 reads a month; and subsequently on Amazon, where it reached #1 on several teen bestseller lists.
The Red Harlequin saga features Asheva, an aspirational teenager living in a complex world divided among Chrome Nations, where everyone lives hidden behind a mask. Drawing inspiration from events such as the Arab Spring, Indignados and Occupy Wall Street, The Red Harlequin is a visually stunning and highly engaging allegory on society, religion, politics, morality and revolution.
The brainchild of ex-journalist and kids entertainment executive Roberto Ricci, The Red Harlequin is also being developed as a transmedia concept across publishing, music, film, and licensing. All rights to The Red Harlequin are managed by Koko Media.