UPDATE (7/22): IDW has since named Jerry Bennington as President, Jud Meyers as the Publisher and Rebekah Cahalin as General Manager and EVP of Operations, covering both IDW Publishing and IDW Entertainment. See the original story below.
It wouldn't be Comic-Con week, virtual or otherwise, without some big early in the week news. Chris Ryall is stepping down as Chief Creative Officer, Publisher and President of IDW. He will be leaving the company to pursue new business opportunities.
So, what does that mean exactly. In a joint press release from Ryall and IDW, it was announced that he would be, "launching a new storytelling venture focused on the disparate worlds and characters that he brought to life at IDW Publishing." Ashley Wood was the one name mentioned along with him, but there was also the blanket statement of also involving, "many of the talented creators he has worked with at IDW."
My first impression is, this seems very IDW adjacent for someone who is leaving the company. Usually when someone leaves their high profile job, there now former employer doesn't reveal details about their new venture. They certainly don't share the fact that many of their own talents will be joining him. There is nothing wrong with doing that, it's just far from the norm. Ryall will still remain an executive producer on the Netflix Locke & Key series, as well as the sole editor for the book. So, not gone entirely, but still not enough to warrant this level of sharing by IDW. It should also be noted that Ryall is an incredibly nice guy and has a great reputation in the industry as a whole.
"Change is often hard, and I will miss this extended family I have worked with for more than 15 years," said Ryall. "In the past year alone, we brought on some amazing hires, expanded the scope of many of the departments, and re-focused the foundation of the business to best support the integrated multi-media company that IDW has become. Our collective success with the entertainment team on ‘Locke & Key’ has been a crowning moment for the entire company. I’m so proud of this special place and the incredible people who work here. I know that I leave IDW perfectly poised for continued success."
As for the IDW side, Howard Jonas, IDW’s Chairman, said, "Chris has been instrumental in IDW Publishing’s success, and we thank him for the passion and commitment he brought to the company. We wish him all the best in his new ventures. With Chris’s departure, IDW will be restructuring and expanding its operations, and we will name a new management team very soon."
It's worth mentioning that Ryall did leave the company in 2018 as well, only to return later that year. This time, it feels different. It also feels like we won't be waiting long to find out who will be taking his place. I did notice the word "restructuring" though, which could mean any number of things. Something tells me I will be updating this story later this week.
Photo Credit: IDW Publishing