Ryan and McNeil Team Up at Vertigo

Bob Mecoy at Creative Book Services sold a coming-of-age graphic novel called Bad Houses by artist Carla Speed McNeil and YA novelist Sara Ryan to Joan Hilty at DC’s Vertigo imprint. Hilty took world rights, and Mecoy brokered the deal with Ryan’s agent, Barry Goldblatt. McNeil, who will illustrate, is best known for her work on the self-published sci-fi Web comic Finder, which won the Ignatz for Outstanding Series in 2004 and 2005. Ryan wrote the 2001 LGBT novel Empress of the World (Viking) and its sequel, Rules for Hearts.

Green’s Diamond 'Wood’

Former Toronto Blue Jay (L.A. Dodger, Arizona Diamondback, and New York Met) Shawn Green sold his philosophical take on life, which he gleaned from the game of baseball, to Marysue Rucci at Simon & Schuster. Rucci pre-empted North American (and first serial) rights to Chopping Wood: Finding Stillness at 95 MPH from Linda Lowenthal at the David Black Agency. Green—who was an All Star and a Golden Glove winner as well as, arguably, one of the best known Jewish Major Leaguers since Sandy Koufax—is co-writing with Gordon McAlpine. S&S is comparing the book to Phil Jackson’s Sacred Hoops, saying Green uses “the principles of mindfulness that he discovered and cultivated at the batting tee to teach us all how to find stillness no matter where we are or what we want to accomplish.” S&S is planning a spring 2011 publication.

Tor Gets in the 'Game’

Tor’s Heather Osborn took world rights to a new paranormal romance series by Cathryn Fox and Paula Altenburg, writing under the pseudonym Taylor Keating. Fox and Altenburg, both published romance writers, follow a video game designer who, with the help of a hunky guardian, tries to buy back her soul after selling it to perfect her latest game. Agent Bob Diforio of D4E0 Literary did the deal, and book one, Game Over, is due out August 2010.

Elie Nabs Gans Bio

Paul Elie at Farrar, Straus & Giroux bought world rights, at auction, to William Gildea’s currently untitled biography of boxer Joe Gans. Gans, who fought from the 1890s to just after the turn of the century, was the country’s first African-American boxing champion. According to agent Andrew Blauner, Gildea focuses on the widespread discrimination Gans faced as his life highlighted both the intensity of the racial divide in America at that time and the hope that separation could be traversed. Gildea, a Washington Post journalist and Nieman Fellow, has written a handful of sports books, including Where the Game Matters Most: A Last Championship Season in Indiana High School Basketball (Little, Brown). Matt Snyder at CAA is repping the film/TV rights.


Trish Todd at Touchstone/Fireside took U.S. and open market rights to a makeup book from YouTube sensation Lauren Luke. Todd negotiated the deal with Jason Bartholomew, rights director for Hodder & Stoughton, which is publishing the book in the U.K. Luke, a British single mom who sold cosmetics, gained online fame from a series of how-to videos she shot of herself applying makeup in her bedroom. According to Touchstone, Luke’s YouTube channel has had over 61 million views. Lauren Luke Looks: 25 Celebrity and Everyday Make-up Tutorials is slated for March 2010.

Matthew Lore, at his recently launched indie house The Experiment, acquired U.S. rights to Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s Debt-Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life. Vaz-Oxlade is the host of 'Til Debt Do Us Part, a money management show that airs in 32 countries which CNBC has picked up for three seasons. Curtis Russell at P.S. Literary brokered the deal, and the book is slated to bow in April 2010.