EXCLUSIVE Interview – Freedable Comics' Onrie Kompan

For comic book nuts like me, the words “free comics” are like a bright fire to a moth, so Freedable Comics, your current venture, is highly intriguing.  Can you tell us more about it?

Absolutely!  Freedable Comics was created to level the playing field for struggling creators like myself. My partner in this venture is a childhood friend.  His name is Seth Wulf and he’s a graphic and web designer that spent a number of years working in the film industry.  Both of us know how hard it can be and that is what motivates us to help creators get their work out there!

We have created a platform for comic book creators to gain exposure and build their following.  There are a barrage of benefits we offer which are all 100% free.  First and foremost, creators retain full ownership of their work.  Additionally, we share marketing data with them to understand the demographics of their readership and also provide a path to purchase to increase their potential sales.

Joining the Freedable family is a non-exclusive arrangement, so creators can display their work anywhere they choose in addition to participating with Freedable Comics. We believe creators deserve free reign over their titles and have no intention of changing that.

Lastly, it’s important to note that the content on the site is free for visitors to view as well!

I know that you’re also a creator and that is what drove the creation of Freedable Comics.  Can you tell us more about your experience creating comics?

I currently have a comic book series called YI SOON SHIN, which debuted in 2009 and has since sold over 22,000 units.  The first collected trade of the series came out last year and features a foreword by Stan Lee.

In order to get to this point, I had to spend a lot of money, make a ton of mistakes and I always asked myself why it was so damn hard.  The comic book industry is very shielded and the only way to break in is to establish yourself before hand, which sounds kind of silly, but it’s the truth.

Publishers want to see that creators have an established following and know how to market and sell their books.  Many artists and creators prefer to focus on their art as opposed to dive into the business.  So that is where Freedable Comics comes into play.

I have to ask because, it seems like there seems to be a statement here; an underlying one.  Are you trying to make a statement with the creation of the site and if so, what is the overall message?

Freedable Comics isn’t a site that simply offers free comics.  That’s already being done.  Our objective is to help promote creators and provide them with the tools they need to build their audience and increase their potential sales.

Our arsenal of titles are going to keep our audience plugged into the site so that they won’t just read one comic and leave.  We’re hoping they’ll spend hours on end exploring all the content and discovering new works from talented creators!

It’s a win/win situation for everyone!

Free comics are awesome, but I am sure there are naysayers who will undoubtedly worry about the type of creators and content available on a site where free comics (in addition to comics for purchase) are available.  What kind of guarantee can you give fanboys and fangirls as to the quality checking process of the comics that make it to the site?

While we want to help as many creators and fans connect as possible, all submissions go through a review process that ensures content on the site maintains a certain level of quality. While each piece of content is decided on an individual basis, we generally accept professionally executed content that we believe will attract the attention of our audience.

Can you tell us a little about the creators themselves and the genres that will be available on the Freedablecomics.com?

I can’t disclose anything yet, except that YI SOON SHIN: WARRIOR AND DEFENDER #1-3 will be one of the many titles available on FreedableComics.com.  Folks can learn more about YI SOON SHIN at www.yisoonshin.com and as soon as our lineup is released, we’ll be promoting the heck out of our list of creators!

A lot of times sites will start out free and then they’ll unleash an advertising policy that leaves users thoroughly displeased.  We’re looking at you Facebook!  What can users expect from Freedable Comics in that regard?  What can they expect to encounter when it comes to ads on the site?

While our priority is to provide participating content providers and readers with a mutually beneficial experience, we obviously need a source of revenue to “keep the lights on”.  Therefore, yes, we will have an advertising component to our site to assist with that.

That being said, we understand that there needs to be a balance between ads and visitors getting what they came for. Essentially, we’re going for a design that is welcoming and easy to navigate but not too busy and misleading with endless advertisements, to ensure our readers remain engaged in the content our creators are offering.

What are your plans ultimately for Freedable Comics in the next five, ten years? Where can you see the site heading, and which doors do you think it will open up for you that you’d love to take advantage of?

While we’ve got big plans for the future, we’re most focused and excited about starting the journey with our creators and readers. We know there will be a lot of organic growth within this community that will lead us to places we can’t even imagine today. In the mean time we will be adding artists, writers, creators, publishers, both big and small to our community, while helping them to grow their readership and sell more product!

Con season is wrapping up here soon, but it’s never too early to think about next year. Are you planning on taking the Freedable Comics message on the road to Cons next year?  

It’s been on the road with me since July!  I will be going to conventions between now and the end of November.  Any creator that is interested in signing up with Freedable Comics, can find me at the following shows; Baltimore Comic-Con, Wizard World Ohio, NYCC, Wizard World Tennessee, Stan Lee’s Comikaze, and Wizard World Austin!

Stop by, say hello and submit your comics to Freedable!

When will the site launch officially?  And will any of your projects be featured on the site if you have any that you’re working on?  I’m chomping at the bit to check it out!

We aren’t releasing the official date yet, but I can say we will be launching after the new year. As I mentioned earlier, the first three issues of YI SOON SHIN: WARRIOR AND DEFENDER will be up on the site for free as well!

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, Onrie!  Give us the lowdown on where we can find Freedable Comics online and how users can connect, will you?

We are currently accepting submissions to be part of our BIG launch so we encourage writers, creators, artists and publishers to visit us at FreedableComics.com to get details on how they can submit today! Feel free to check out this brief video outlining the benefits of joining the Freedable Family – http://youtu.be/GkCJJA92ttw. Lastly like us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/FreedableComics and follow us on Twitter, @FreedableComics to get the most up to date Freedable information.

Thanks again, Onrie.  Get those submission in guys!