Chris Ryall

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ROM #1 – “Earthfall Part 1”
IDW Publishing
Cover price $4.99
Written by Christos Gage and Chris Ryall
Art by David Messina with colour assists by Michele Pata


“We’ve been invaded and only a s pace knight can save us! First there was his epic return in this year’s FCBD #0, and now the ongoing tale of ROM begins in earnest! Christos Gage, Chris Ryall, and David Messina kick off the wildest new series of the year as Rom’s war with the DIRE WRAITHS hits close to home in “Earthfall, part 1!"”

ROM’s long awaited return is finally here. We got a brief glimpse of it in the ROM #0 FCBD edition, there’s nothing like holding a #1 in your hands!

The story opens with a fun homage to ROM’s original crash landing back in 1979. We get a good look at the functionality of ROM’s modern appearance and how his weapons and devices are now an extension of his armour. Just as ROM has received an upgrade, the Dire Wraiths’ get to level up as they’re able to use human lifeforce to shape change into monstrous hawk creatures.

After an initial encounter with the Dire Wraiths, ROM has to figure out how he’s going to approach dealing with their infiltrated brethren. He comes to the rescue of a young woman suffering from post-war PTSD and unaware that the Dire Wraiths have killed her entire family and replaced them. After an impressive battle sequence, ROM tries to settle down the devastated young woman, Darby, who’s in a state of shock.

Hats off to Chris Ryall and IDW Publishing for pursuing this character. Re-imagined for a whole new generation, with minor alterations to his armor and a new supporting cast, ROM is ready to continue his epic battle against the Dire Wraiths who have infiltrated human society. Thankfully, his supporting cast has been modernized as well, with stronger female protagonists that will have more of an active presence.

Messina’s art reminded me a lot of the work of Ian Akin & Brian Garvey from the 1980s. The panel layouts and the smooth flow and transition really brings the action to life.

I really liked the tip of the hat to Bill Mantlo, the Marvel Comics writer who pretty much created the ROM-verse, in naming the park in the story, Mantlo Park.

The only aspect that I wasn’t thrilled about was the upcoming crossover with the other IDW Hasbro properties. While my inner child is blow away at the thought of pitching his GI Joe action figures against ROM, the adult me has become wary of event driven storyline and was hoping for something a bit more focused and streamlined.

However, I’ll be there for the next issue to see where they take ROM, the Wraithslayer next! This first issue was worth the 30 year wait!

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Judge Dredd: City Limits Volume 2 is out now!! 404 pages, 18 issues, a lot of incredibly talented people, go get it!! Check here some of my favorite pages

In the 22nd century, crime runs rampant in Mega-City One, home to over 800 million citizens, robots, criminals, and lunatics. The only line of defense between order and chaos are… the Judges. Contains stories such as “The American Way of Death,” “Black Light District,” and “Mega-City Manhunt” from issues #13–30 of the Judge Dredd series as well as all of the short back-ups, edited by Chris Ryall, written by Duane Swierczynski, with art by Nelson Dániel, John Stanisci, Staz Johnson, Andy Belanger, Steve Scott, Mark Torres and Shane Pierce, with cover artwork by Jimbo Salgado.

Comic Authors - Is Arvind the Problem? // Meta

Gooooood question! Worth looking at in terms of who wrote the problematic shit? Well, I think there’s actually a single point of failure here… awkwardly, he seems like a nice guy…


Dirk Gently and the Interconnectedness of All Things

Summary: A stand-alone, independent story of the original “Dirk Gently” which was published before the announcement of the American adaptation.

  • Writer: Chris Ryall 
  • Editors: John Barber & Arvind Ethan David

Chris Ryall is the Chief Creative Officer and Editor-in-Chief of IDW Publishing. He oversees IDW Publishing’s comic-book and graphic-novel publishing, helping acquire major licenses such as The Transformers, Star Trek, Judge Dredd, and many other brands, as well as helping determine the creative approach and creative teams on IDW’s wide array of comic books.

John Barber is the former senior editor of IDW Publishing, former editor of Marvel Comics, and a freelance comic writer. 

Arvind Ethan David is a writer and currently Executive Producer for the American Adaptation of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency which premiered in October 2016. He met Douglas Adams after adapting Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for a school production, and after gaining the rights to the Dirk Gently property has said “I’m making Dirk Gently in every format, medium, and genre known to man.”


Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: A Spoon Too Short

Summary: Dodgy As Fuck story (see my previous posts about issues in this comic). Begins to introduce aspects we’ll discover in the American adaptation - including Black Wing, the Rowdy Three, Riggins and Bart.

  • Writer: Arvind Ethan David 
  • Editors: Denton J. Tipton & Chi-Ren Choong 
  • Executive Producer: Max Landis

Denton J. Tipton is an editor for IDW Publishing.

Chi-Ren Choong is an actor and writer.

Max Landis is an American screenwriter, director, producer, comic book writer, and actor. He is the creator and showrunner for the American adaptation of Douglas Adams’ science fiction detective comedy novel series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency on BBC America, which premiered in October 2016. Writing credits specifically for episodes “Two Sane Guys Doing Normal Things”, “Weaponized Soul”, “Fix Everything”, “Rogue Wall Enthusiasts”, “Lost & Found” and “Horizons”.


Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: The Salmon of Doubt

Summary: Following “OG” Dirk interacting with our Alternate Universe’s Dirk, this is where the characterisation gets… messy…

  • All issues (almost)
    • Writer: Arvind Ethan David 
    • Editor: Denton J. Tipton 
    • Executive Producer: Max Landis

So, all as usual. EXCEPT…

  • Issue #6 Short “Riggins: The Father I Never Had”
    • Writers: Arvind Ethan David  & Robert C. Cooper
    • Editor: Denton J. Tipton 
    • Executive Producer: Max Landis

Robert C. Cooper is a writer best known for writing in the Stargate universes. He is currently Executive Producer and writer for the American Adaptation of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency including writing episode “Very Erectus”.

  • Issue #7 Short “Inside Sgt. Hugo Friedkin”
    • Writers: MAX LANDIS & Arvind Ethan David
    • Editor: Denton J. Tipton 
    • Executive Producer: Max Landis

So actually, if you look at it, ALL the problematic storylines are written by Arvind. The two shorts actually written by people who write for the show are definitely the two best ones. “Inside Hugo Friedkin” is beautifully IC and gives a good portrayal of this evil, stupid character and “Riggins: The Father I Never Had” is a devastating glimpse into Dirk’s Black Wing existence.

So on the plus side, the guy who’s been dicking around with our beloved characters is PROBABLY NOT going to write for the second TV series - and we have TWO SHORTS which we can almost for certain take as canon. 

On the downside… well, the comics exist. Always a downer, that.

“San Diego, CA (September 21, 2016) – IDW Publishing, with the support of DC Entertainment, will honor the victims of Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub tragedy by publishing LOVE IS LOVE, an anthology graphic novel curated by writer Marc Andreyko (BATWOMAN, WONDER WOMAN ’77). In the wake of this devastating event, Andreyko assembled a group of fellow comic book creators to contribute to the benefit project. Andreyko received an overwhelming response across the comic book community and beyond, with over 200 writers and artists lending their talents to LOVE IS LOVE, a collection of over 100 short graphic stories. All material has been donated by the writers, artists, and editors, with all proceeds going to victims, survivors, and their families via EQUALITY FLORIDA.

LOVE IS LOVE will debut in comic book shops and bookstores this December. The anthology graphic novel is a 144-page love letter to the LGBTQ community containing moving and heartfelt stories—some using iconic DC characters—from some of the greatest talent in comics, including Phil Jimenez, Steve Sadowski, Paul Jenkins, Mike Carey, Matt Wagner, Marguerite Bennett, Aneke, Damon Lindelof, Patton Oswalt, Steven Orlando, Rafael Albuquerque, Jason Aaron, Jason Latour, James Asmus, Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV, Cecil Castellucci, Brandon Peterson, Jesus Saiz, Olivier Coipel, Leinil Yu, Elsa Charretier, and many more to be announced.

“When tragedy happens, art responds. And after the Pulse massacre, the comics community responded quickly, decisively, and with open hearts,” said project organizer and writer Andreyko. “I could not be more proud of this book, or to be a member of the comics community. The talent and emotion on every page is staggering. LOVE IS LOVE mourns the 49 lost, honors the survivors, and celebrates love in all forms.”

“When Marc brought this project to me, there was no hesitation about us getting involved,” said IDW Chief Creative Officer Chris Ryall. “To echo Marc’s sentiments, we are proud of the hard work and talent that has gone into this project and to be involved in any way to support the survivors and their families in the face of tragedy.”

“We’re deeply thankful to all the participants who donated their work to LOVE IS LOVE,” said Sarah Gaydos, Group Editor for IDW Publishing. “The outpouring of emotion from their work honors the LGBTQ community, and helps express the grief we’re all feeling.”

“Marc’s heartfelt passion for this cause and this project has inspired everyone involved in LOVE IS LOVE,” explains Jamie Rich, Group Editor of DC’s Vertigo imprint. “As an editor on the book, I continue to be moved every day by the expressions of hope and love the contributors have put forth, and can only imagine the profound impact the book will have on readers, as well.”

The contributors behind LOVE IS LOVE have banded together to send a powerful message through their art that they stand with the victims of this national tragedy. Help spread the love this December and become part of this historic comics event.”

characters’ design color head shot for the first #ONYX miniseries, created by Chris Ryall and yours truly. From IDW Publishing in July 2015. #makingcomics