Reemsborko details flurry of global partners for graphic novel IP Trese

Reemsborko, the UK agency specialising in cult and pop culture licensing from across the world, has secured a flurry of new partnerships for the best-selling graphic novel series, Trese.

In a run of new deals for the series publisher, Ablaze Publishing, the graphic novel IP now finds itself expanding its consumer products presence across categories including apparel and accessories, drinkware, wall decor, statues, and more.

Joining the licensing portfolio is the likes of Bioworld who has signed on for apparel and accessories for global distribution, Goodie Two Sleeves who will be delivering apparel and accessories to the North American market, Pyramid America who will delight North American audiences with its wall decor and drinkware, and Great Eastern Entertainment, signed on for multiple categories across North America.

They are joined by IndieGo Distribution who will deliver apparel to the European market, and Bedrock Collectables whose polyresin statues will be distributed worldwide.

Trese is set in a Manila where the mythical creatures of Filipino folklore live in hiding among humans. It follows the story of the hero Alexandra Trese as she battles with a criminal underworld run by malevolent supernatural beings. Seven volumes of the comic have so far been released in the Philippines and are now being steadily republished worldwide by ABLAZE. 

Reemsborko is the agent for all categories and territories. The property has become even more popular this year since the Season One Anime series started streaming on Netflix in July.

TeamTo acquires TV, film, and licensing rights to fantastical graphic novel series Ninn

TeamTo has acquired the television, film, and licensing rights to NINN, a popular series of graphic novels by Jean-Michel Darlot and Johan Pilet, marking the content producer’s first foray into limited series animation for the seven years plus market.

NINN follows the stories of the young Parisian girl, Ninn, who has an unusual passion for the city’s underground, Paris Metro. Skateboarding through its tunnels is her favourite hobby, where she encounters all manner of fantastical happenings, such as swarms of butterflies visible only to herself, or an origami tiger that guides her on her search for the secrets of her past.

Despite her father’s concerns, Ninn and the tiger explore every dark tunnel and abandoned station, eager to uncover the clues and connections she has been searching for her whole life.

“As soon as I saw the first album, I immediately felt attracted to its graphic design style, which is both classic and fantastical,” said TeamTo executive producer, Corinne Kouper.

“I fell in love with the independent and free-thinking spirit of this little urban girl on the platform of the Paris Metro, visibly protected by her large and warm white tiger. I also liked the idea of Ninn roaming freely through the underground tunnels on her skateboard as if it were her bedroom, and her unique and touching relationship with her two dads.”

Mary Bredin, TeamTo creative development executive, added: “Stories that are grounded in locations are really appealing to me and this one is set in the Paris Metro – how surprising and intriguing is that?!

“Our hero’s story is at once unbelievable and yet so relatable. Adapting graphic novels is a bit of a trend right now but I think it is because they play in a darker, more dramatic space which provides a depth that isn’t normally present in a lot of animated series.”

Jean-Michel Darlot, author of Ninn, commented: “I have definitely been influenced by Miyazaki in finding the magical in the ordinary, and I have always been inspired by the Paris Metro. This is where the story comes from, the Metro is not just a means of transportation. It has its own personality and we portray it as a character in our story – a character with some secrets of its own.”

Published by boutique Belgian publisher Kennes Éditions, the series was written by Jean-Michel Darlot and illustrated by Belgian artist Johan Pilet. To date, four graphic novels have been distributed in France, Belgium and Canada, with over 100,000 copies sold in France; a fifth and sixth novel of the series are in production.

Asmodee brings iconic board games Android and Twilight Imperium to comic book space with CMON

The board gaming giant, Asmodee Entertainment has entered into a licensing partnership with the tabletop gaming specialist, CMON Ltd, to bring two of the hobby’s most famous boardgame universes to the pages of a comic book series.

Best-selling games, Twilight Imperium and Android are slated to make their graphic novel debut in 2021 in a deal that goes to highlight Asmodee’s continued expansion into licensed publishing opportunities. For CMON, meanwhile, the deals secures the first licenses for its newly minted comic books arm, Guillotine Press.

“We are delighted to announce this new partnership on the run-up to exhibiting at the Festival of Licensing in October,” said Alexander Thieme, licensing manager for publishing and consumer goods at Asmodee Entertainment.

“Bringing some of our most iconic intellectual properties to the medium of visual storytelling through the pages of these first graphic novels is a natural step for us to be taking and we are absolutely thrilled to begin this exciting journey with the great team at CMON.”

As with CMON’s first set of graphic novels, these new books will be created by veteran writers and artists, who will bring their talents to the projects. Scheduled to be launched on Kickstarter in 2021, the books will be paired with tie-in game components designed to delight long-time fans of both franchises. 

CMON COO, David Preti, said: “All tabletop games tell stories, and we are especially happy to work with a great partner like Asmodee Entertainment to bring some of those stories to life. With our first wave of comics, the ones based on CMON titles, we worked hard to create book-and-game component combos that were exciting for comic fans and board gamers alike, making it one of the most successful publication Kickstarters of all times.

“With this second wave of books, we hope to continue that precedent, and we aim to become the go-to publisher for board game inspired comics.” 

Recognised as a genre defining strategy game that immerses players into interstellar conquest and diplomacy, Twilight Imperium is set against a back drop of a sweeping, epic space opera filled with iconic races, locations, ships, and characters.

Meanwhile, Android is known as a cyber-noir that explores a future in which mega-corporations compete across the globe and cyber-espionage is just business as usual, while criminals fight for dominance in the overcrowded streets below. Android has been explored thrugh board games, card games, and roleplaying games for over a decade.

Both titles are part of Asmodee’s renowned Fantasy Flight Games studio.

“Both graphic novels will make use of the combined three decades worth of Asmodee’s existing design and world development,” said CMON’s VP of licensing, Geoff Skinner.

“Both of these incredible games are fully realized and bursting at the seams with style, tone, and best of all, story possibilities. Our goal is for fans of the games to feel right at home in the pages of these books and to capture the essence of what makes each title special, while still making the titles accessible to newcomers who are in it for a great comic experience.” 

Andy Jones, head of Asmodee Entertainment, concluded: “I am delighted to announce this ground-breaking deal with the team at CMON. Bringing together just two of the many Asmodee IPs and telling their stories in this unique ‘comic book and game component’ format, initially via Kickstarter, with some of the very best talents in the industry, is a fantastic project to be working on.”

Young Adult fantasy brand The Red Harlequin lands audiobook, graphic novel, and TV partners

The Young Adult fantasy brand, The Red Harlequin has secured a trio if multimedia deals, spanning an audiobook agreement, a new graphic novel publishing deal, and a TV development partnership.

The tranche of new partnerships arrive as Pantomimus Media – brand owners of The Red Harlequin IP – looks to build out a further reaching licensing programme for the fictional fantasy brand.

Under the deal, Dreamscape Media LLC will develop an audiobook series, Broken Icon Comics will deliver a series of graphic novels, and Omnifilm Entertainment will begin developments of a new action adventure fantasy series for television.

Dreamscape Media offers distribution, marketing, and production services for audiobooks, eBooks, film, and documentaries.

Releasing in May 2020, all five books in the series will be available everywhere audiobooks are sold including Amazon, Audible, Recorded Books, iTunes, Google, Overdrive, and dozens of other digital audiobook resellers.

The Red Harlequin audiobook collection will be also available on hoopla digital to over 5 million registered library patrons, Midwest Tape’s mobile and online service for public libraries. The YA Fantasy novels will join hoopla digital’s collection of more than 750,000 eBooks, audiobooks, albums, movies and television shows.

Meanwhile, Broken Icon Comics – one of the fastest growing independent comic companies in the industry – has acquired US print rights to the brand. The first two volumes will make up BIC’s tentpole summer releases with media blitzes leading up to their launch at San Diego Comic Con, the largest comic convention in the world.

The books will be available for bookstores to order through BIC’s partner printer and the wholesale book registry, and to comic stores through their direct distribution channels.

“The Red Harlequin Volume I sets up a world riven with war, and the political and religious elites that control the fates of all men and women,” said Nick Wentland, creative coordinator, Broken Icon Comics.

“Fast paced and driven by the struggles of society, identity, and what it takes to survive,The Red Harlequin is a tale so powerful, one cannot help but be drawn into the world from the very first page. A perfect blend of fantasy world-building, religion and magic, political intrigue, and character driven stories, it’s a must read for those who love unique and dramatic graphic novels.”

Finally, the development agreement with Omnifilm will work towards creating a high-end action adventure fantasy series. Scriptwriter and showrunner Robert Butler, recent BAFTA winner for Creeped Out, and Rick Porras (co-producer of The Lord of the Rings) are attached to the project.

Brian Hamilton, principal and executive producer, Omnifilm, stated: “Audiences are hungry for stories which connect epic fantasy and escapism with the issues of today. The Red Harlequin book series was made for television and has serious international potential. Omnifilm is honoured to be working with such a talented team.”

Roberto Ricci, creator and director, Pantomimus Media, concluded: “I am very excited to partner with companies that not only excel in their field, but also share our creative vision for developing The Red Harlequin as a global entertainment property.

“With its established track record, Omnifilm is perfectly positioned to forge a solid TV platform for the series, and Dreamscape is on the cutting edge of audio/video storytelling which – together with Broken Icon’s comic readers – opens up new avenues to reach new fans: a truly multi-platform approach.”