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 RobotsGroom LakeThe HollowsThe 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.




  1. No mention of IDW’s massive sales decline.

    No mention of IDW employees harassing fans, threatening to beat up people with baseball bats, musing about wanting to blow up Congress, saying that it’s understandable to desire comic critics to be murdered.

  2. Man, so depressing to see negative comments right off the bat. Jesus.

    I for one wish Chris the best. He gave me my first break in the industry as a writer, and I was fortunate enough to do many exciting projects with IDW, including NYT best sellers. But more than that, Chris is one of the nicest, most professional, even tempered, helpful, genuine people I’ve met in the business. 14 years is a long time to be in the stressful, exhausting, pressure cooker role that he had. I hope he can take a long time to unwind, be with his family, and chart his next course. The industry as a whole, not just IDW, is losing one of it’s best ambassadors. But it sounds like he’s not planning on straying too far from comics, so I’m excited to see what his next endeavor will be.

  3. To Dara-How did you become a writer for them? I am working on something, but I know that getting in that way is very hard.

  4. Yeah, no one should be surprised at this. IDW went in the same route as Marvel ….. and sales plummeted hard. Not to mention their current editors are on twitter telling everyone NOT to buy their books …. This company is a lost cause and will be gone in a couple of years.

  5. Chris is one of the best, most honest, and genuine people in comics. I wish him nothing but huge success in whatever comes next for him. (and, boy, oh, boy, three trolls in 6 posts? ah, the internet.)

  6. Marc, not everyone saying something negative or that you disagree with is a “troll”.
    Ryall nailed his colours to the mast with his Hasbro shared universe to boost his pet project Rom and it’s taken sales of affected books out at the knees (Transformers lost over 1/4 of its readership in 18 months). This does feel like him jumping before he was pushed as part of a larger reordering at IDW.

  7. Pointing out objective failure is not “trolling.” Neither is complaining about abusive behavior, if the complaints are accurate.


  8. Just because someone has different opinion it doesn’t mean that they are trolls. Things like saying to potential customers that they shouldn’t buy their books because X is a valid problem. I understand that some people want to do “the right thing”, but it is important to understand that they are part of the bigger industry and antagonizing potential buyers isn’t helping anyone.

  9. Ryall is one of the best people in the industry. I don’t know if I’ve met a nicer person in the comic industry who is supportive of all people and their ideas (other than maybe Sam Kieth and Gabriel Rodriguez). He deserves the best and I know he will do amazing things once he’s had a chance to take a breath of fresh air. This will be a massive blow to IDW and probably the morale there.

  10. Chris published Phantom Jack:Nowhere Man Agenda for me. Great guy, good to work with. I’m sure he’s heading someplace cool!

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