IDW Publishing is undergoing a change in leadership, with Chris Ryall stepping down as president, publisher, and chief creative officer to launch a new publishing venture dedicated to developing new creative voices.
Ryall had been in the position since December 2018, when he returned to the company six months after stepping down as chief creative officer and editor-in-chief. He took over the dual president/publisher role from Greg Goldstein.
Guess where and whom he worked for prior to his IDW stint?
The majority of Ryall’s professional career has been spent at IDW, which he joined in June 2004, coming over as editor-in-chief after a stint as EiC of Kevin Smith’s MoviePoopShoot.com. During his initial 14-year stint at the company, he worked in a creative capacity in addition to his editorial and executive role, writing for titles including ROM, Kiss and Transformers; in the six months between resigning as editor-in-chief and CCO and returning to the company to assume the president and publisher positions in addition to the CCO role, Ryall worked alongside The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman as part of Kirkman’s Skybound Entertainment.
So he once worked for an overrated movie director whose alleged claims to fame were getting rid of Karen Page in the 2nd Daredevil volume sold under the Marvel Knights imprint, and soiling the Black Cat’s background with the theme of sexual assault in an early 2000s miniseries that, after he’d turned out half the material for it, had the latter half delayed for nearly 2 years. I haven’t heard much about Smith working in comicdom in the past decade, but he sure left quite a stain on it when he was there more noticeably. And this was the company Ryall kept before his stint at IDW. I wonder if that influenced what was turned out under his watch when he was EIC?
For now, his departure anew suggests he was no more successful as a publisher than as an editor, and he won’t be missed if he didn’t learn any lessons. I’m not forgetting that ghastly take on Ninja Turtles IDW turned out a year ago, one of the more recent mistakes they made. Now, their fortunes still seem to be slipping, and no telling how much longer they’ll be able to stay in business. If Ryall’s planning on setting up his own company, it’ll remain to be seen if he’s learned any lessons when he opens business then. He probably won’t.
Originally published here.