A lot of changes suddenly at comics companies all over. I’ve just learned that Chris Ryall, formerly Chief Creative officer and Editor-in-Chief at IDW, has stepped down.
The move is entirely of his own volition, I’m told.
Ryall joined IDW in June of 2004, and oversaw its steady growth in both licensed comics and originals, as well as writing titles including Zombies vs Robots, Groom Lake, The Hollows, The Colonized, and Onyx, and licensed titles including Transformers.
Ryall wrote a farewell email to staff which included the following:
Through it all—through the deadline craziness, market fluctuations, assorted business challenges, social-media storms, new faces, new projects, and new challenges—it’s all served as a constant reminder how lucky I’ve been to contribute to this industry that I love so much. And I plan to keep making contributions outside these walls. But for now, I’m stepping aside to take a break, get off the never-ending-deadline train and see what new challenge makes the most sense as my next move. It might seem short at times, but 14 years is a long time to do anything — I’ve certainly never done anything else in my life for this amount of time.There’s not enough time or space to catalog the various successes that have happened here in that time and really, there’s no need — they’ve all been parts of a whole that has made this place such a thrill to work at for as long as I have. The successes and fun vastly outweighed the stresses, which is really a testament to the place that Ted and Robbie and company built in the first place. I’m appreciative as can be for all the opportunities IDW has afforded me. It’s just time to figure out my next move, that’s all.I remain excited about comics, about creating, and about giving people good reasons to keep reading and, separately, about seeing everything IDW is going to do next. I first noticed IDW’s books in its earliest days, impressed by the care and uniqueness that those early titles offered, so it’s been a thrill to join all of you to build things out in an even bigger way. And I look forward to once again being able to experience IDW’s output with a fresh eye.
While his next move isn’t yet known, as shown by the above, Ryall seems to want to stay in the comics biz. As shown by his words, Ryall is known as a classy, even tempered executive, and I don’t doubt that he’ll have many opportunities in front of him.
This is the latest of a strong of changes at IDW. Recently co-founder Ted Adams moved from publisher to CEO, while Greg Goldstein moved into the Publisher position. PR manager Steven Scott also recently left the company.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.