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IDW president/publisher/chief creative officer Chris Ryall exits company

(Image credit: IDW Publishing)

Chris Ryall has announced that he is stepping down from his role as IDW Publishing's president/publisher/chief creative officer to work for a new, as-yet-unnamed company developing some of the creator-owned projects he published while at IDW.

"Change is often hard, and I will miss this extended family I have worked with for more than 15 years," Ryall said in the announcement. "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. 

(Image credit: IDW Publishing)

"Our collective success with the entertainment team on Locke & Key has been a crowning moment for the entire company," Ryall continues. "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."

In the wake of Ryall's departure, IDW chairman Howard Jonas said the company "will be restructuring and expanding its operations, and we will name a new management team very soon."

According to IDW, Ryall will still have a relationship with the company. He intends to be the "sole editor" of any Locke & Key projects, will remain as an executive producer of Netflix's adaptation of the comic, and will have what IDW calls an "advisor role" with the publisher in general.

"After the wonderful experience this past year serving as an Executive Producer on ‘Locke & Key' and working with the amazingly creative team that brought the show to life, I look forward to bringing exciting new stories into the world through many different storytelling forms," Ryall added. "I'm thrilled to be back working alongside Ashley Wood, as well as other creators to come, in developing interesting projects for our World of Syzygy venture."

(Image credit: Syzygy)

Syzygy is the name of a publishing venture by Ryall and Wood that has been teased for years, going as far back as 2018 with a project called Unnamed. IDW describes Ryall's new pursuit as a "new publishing and entertainment venture focused on developing new voices alongside industry veterans."

Ryall created several projects as a writer while on staff at IDW, including Zombies vs. Robots (with Ashley Wood), Groom Lake (with Ben Templesmith), The Colonized (with Drew Moss), The Hollows (with Sam Kieth), Onyx (with Gabriel Rodriguez), and String Divers (also with Wood).

Ryall joined IDW Publishing in June 2004 as its editor-in-chief, with the title of chief creative officer added to his duties in 2011. He left the company for eight months in 2018 for a position at Skybound Entertainment, but returned as chief creative officer, and took on the additional roles of president and publisher.

Chris has covered comic book news for Newsarama since 2003, and has also written for USA Today, Life, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the  2019 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and the 2012 Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table.