IDW Publishing Editor-in-Chief and Chief Creative Officer Chris Ryall has left the San Diego-based company after 14 years, as confirmed by Ryall Wednesday on Twitter.
The news was first reported by The Beat, who add that Ryall's exit was "entirely of his own volition." Ryall announced the news in an email to staff, which is excerpted on The Beat.
"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," Ryall wrote. "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."
Ryall joined IDW as Editor-in-Chief in June 2004, taking over from Jeff Mariotte as the second person to hold that position at the publisher. In 2010, Ryall was named the company's first-ever Chief Creative Officer, while retaining the position of EiC. In 2016, David Hedgecock was promoted to IDW Editor-in-Chief, but Ryall was named EiC once again in Nov. 2017, with Hedgecock moving to Associate Publisher. Those shifts were part of an overall restructing at IDW, with co-founder and CEO Ted Adams stepping down as publisher, and company president Greg Goldstein taking on the role.
In Ryall's time at IDW, the company became distinguished for its acclaimed use of licensed properties, most notably Hasbro franchises including Transformers, My Little Pony and G.I. Joe. IDW has also seen success with original titles such as Locke & Key, and archival projects including the Artist's Edition line. In 2010, Diamond Comic Distributor named IDW a "premier" publisher along with Marvel, DC Comics, Image Comics and Dark Horse Comics, at the time the first publisher to receive that distinction since the category was introduced in 1996.
Ryall has also written a number of comics at IDW, including Zombies vs. Robots, illustrated by Ashley Wood, and co-writing ROM with Christos Gage.
In his letter to staff, Ryall indicated plans to remain involved in the comic book industry, though it's not yet known what his next move may be.
"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," Ryall wrote. "And I plan to keep making contributions outside these walls."
On Twitter, Ryall indicated that he may have more to say publicly about the news, writing, "We'll announce things properly soon."
This news comes in the same day that IDW PR Manager Steven Scott was departing the company, in order to focus on his writing career.