Time to rearrange your publishing staff scorecard, everyone! Following the departure of Mike Marts from AfterShock Comics — where he served as editor-in-chief as well as co-founder — to join Florida-based indie publisher Mad Cave Studios, AfterShock has announced two new additions to the company: former DC senior story editor Brian Cunningham, and IDW publishing veteran Chris Ryan.
Cunningham, who worked on titles including Superman, Justice League, Batman: Earth One, and the critically acclaimed Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen at DC, will step into the role of editor-in-chief at the company moving forward. In a statement provided by the publisher, he said, “AfterShock stands for quality comic books, and there’s a reason why they’ve grown to be a major player in the industry, as dedicated as they’ve been to working with creators to tell their best stories across a variety of genres. I’m thrilled and grateful to be called upon to carry on that tradition and build on that success. I can’t wait to work with Joe [Pruett, AfterShock Comics publisher], Lee [Kramer, company president] and the entire AfterShock team.”
Joe Pruett added that Cunningham is “one of a few that when you say ‘his reputation speaks for itself,’ you can actually back it up with a slew of advocates and admirers. He brings a healthy thirst for ‘good story’ and professionalism to his work and as AfterShock looks to the future, I'm excited to have Brian’s vision helping to lead the way.”
Starting November 1, Cunningham will be joined at the company by Chris Ryall, former chief creative officer and president of IDW, who’ll be serving as a publishing consultant. Pruett said of the hire, “My relationship with Chris goes back 15 years or so when my Desperado Publishing imprint moved under IDW's corporate umbrella. To say that the man is accomplished would be understating how much of an impact he has had in the comics community over the past two decades. Not only does he have a great eye for talent and story (Locke & Key anyone?), but he’s also never been one to stand still. I can’t wait to regularly pick his brain.”
AfterShock Comics was founded in 2015 by Pruett and Marts, with a focus on creator-owned titles. In the past seven years, it’s published works from the likes of Donny Cates, Cullen Bunn, Margeurite Bennet, and Paul Tobin. In 2020, the company partnered with television distributor Rive Gauche to create AfterShock Media, a television and movie development arm.