× Final days to keep this magazine running with the Sparkler Monthly Year 5: Kickstarter!

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The official start of the Summer of Sparkler!

Hey there, Sparkler fans!

One week until summer officially begins in our corner of the world, but we’re going to get a jump-start on it, since it’s a particularly exciting one for us here at the Sparkler offices. We’ve got a whopping SEVEN new chapters (all from different series!) out this month, including another new comics serial joining our line-up! The days are nice and long and school’s on break, so it’s the perfect time to dive in your favorite Sparkler stories and maybe even find something new that you love. <3 We’re going to have special deluxe-sized issues all summer, as thanks for all your support over the past year (hooray Magical How Kickstarter! In right under the wire!) and as we prepare for our big yearly Kickstarter for Sparkler Year 5. Woo!

First up, we’re psyched to have Uncanny Valley High joining the magazine! High school is weird enough, but imagine if you were part of a nearly-but-not-quite-real simulation. It’s all the expected problems of grades and romance and angst, but with glitchy software, slow render times, and a near-constant sense that something is just a little off… We’ve also got fresh installments of new favorites Sunshine Boy and Yellow Hearts, the latest chapters of the fantastic light novels Decoy and Retrofit (from creative team powerhouse Bell and Hazel) and the always clever and spooky Dead Endings 2: Dead Leads, and new chapters of old favorites Orange Junk and Knights-Errantwith Louise having a moving father-daughter moment and Oz trying to liquor up Wil, respectively. :3 Plus, we’ve got a brand-new podcast where the Sparkler team is joined by Magical How creator Eurika Yusin Gho and Zoey/Capo of podcast Gutter Queens (and video game Out of Sync) fame to talk Wonder Woman and action/adventure stories told through the Female Gaze.

But that’s not all! We have even more new releases this month: Before You Go story #3 Now and Then is now completed online and available as an ebook; the June Sparkler Survey is up, ready for your feedback and offering a cool raffle at the end; and we’ll have a booth at Connecticon this July, so come see us! And in our pursuit to make the Sparkler experience as fun and convenient as possible, we’re in the process of updating many of our systems, which includes…

A brand-new Patreon option for Sparkler membership, if it’s more convenient for you to sign up there! The Patreon route will get you the same free member issues, VIP files, and Cherry Bomb products you download through membership on our site, just delivered through their system, if you’re already on Patreon and want to grab all your stuff in one place. :D This option was added by popular demand~

Summer fun, here we come!

XOXO,

The Sparkler Staff



Spring has sprung, and the Summer of Sparkler is on the way!

Happy April, Sparkler fans!

We’re thrilled to present our latest issue, headed by the launch of a brand-new Sparkler series! The fantastic Yellow Hearts is moving from Tapastic/Tapas to join our line-up, and it’s over 50 pages long (including 6 brand-new pages) already, all of which can be downloaded in this issue. We’re sure you’re going to love it–Yellow Hearts’ captivating fantasy world, focus on found family, and marvelous character designs all jumped out at us immediately as something we wanted to have in our magazine. Please join us in welcoming the creator Keezy Young to Sparkler! \^o^/

We’ve also got Knights-Errant back after its brief hiatus, with a whopping 8 new pages in the issue, so we’re back to a twice-a-week release schedule on the site. Hooray!! It’s time for some snarky backstory and light torture–our favorite! This issue also has a Magical How? short story, funded by the success of our Sparkler Year 4 Kickstarter–did you ever wonder how Gabe found out that Booker is gay? The answer is a real hoot! Plus, we’re in love with the hilarious and sweet ending to Before You Go: Now and Then while shivering at the thrilling new chapter of Dead LeadsIt’s a fresh batch of chapters for the spring, all ready for you to enjoy!

What’s coming up on the horizon? Well, now that our submissions are complete, you can look forward to a lot of new content starting in the magazine over the next few months, in a little initiative that we’re calling The Summer of Sparkler! It was great to have so many people pitch us such exciting stuff, and we’re psyched to get to share it with all of you. Stay tuned to our social media feeds to make sure you don’t miss a thing. <3

Also, our crew will be at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) next month, along with the fantastic Heldrad, creator of Orange Junk…and we may have some fun new merch along with us?! Come by to say hi, get some books signed, and pick up the latest and greatest from the Sparkler Shop!

XOXO,

The Sparkler Team



Feel the Love

Sparkler Monthly Issue #043 (February 2017)Hello, Sparkler Fans!

Happy belated Valentine’s Day! We hope you enjoyed your little Cherry Bomb Valentine’s Treat from Kate Leth and Sarah Winifred Searle. ;-) That was one of the final pieces of our Year 3 Kickstarter, and it’s everything we hoped it would be. :-D

Overseas

For our February update, we’ve got dramatic new pages of Knights-Errant, the exciting and possibly romantic(?!) return of Orange Junk, more booze and death in Dead Endings: Book 2 which is now going under the official title Dead Leads (and has a spectacular cover as well–Nasty Women Unite!!), and a new, surprisingly angsty installment of “Before You Go” while things heat up in a big way in Decoy and Retrofit. So we get to bring you a little romance, a whole lot of drama, and some sex and monsters this time around. Hope you like it!

In other news, we’re running a Kickstarter to fund a print run of the complete Tokyo Demons series–we’re almost at our first goal after just 10 days, so let’s see how far we can go to unlock the really fun Stretch Goals we have planned! Speaking of “far,” two of our Sparkler founders are actually completing this update from Japan as they scout locations for the developing Tokyo Ghosts series (and engage in various fujoshi-related activities), and they recorded this month’s Sparkler Podcast about Kickstarter in Tokyo. We look forward to seeing how all their “research” pays off once we kick into the next big arc of the series. Exciting!!

Tokyo Demons: The Complete Series Kickstarter

In the meantime, we’re plowing through our final round of submissions review as well, so look forward to that in the near future. And as for other travel, we’re looking forward to running a booth at the first-ever BishounenCon in March! We’ve had a blast at YaoiCon for the past few years, and we can’t wait for this inaugural show of its East Coast edition. See you there?!

Come see the Sparkler booth at BishounenCon 2017!

XOXO,

The Sparkler Team



Welcome to 2017!

Sparkler Monthly Issue #042 (January 2016)Hello, Sparkler fans!

We’re well into the new year at this point, and we’ve got a huge new issue for you – although we wanted to share some oldies but goodies along with all the fresh content! Our cover story for the issue is Part 1 of the long-awaited third installment of “Before You Go,” everyone’s favorite sweet girls’ love story. <3 “Before You Go” came to us through our first open submissions process, and it hit us right off the bat as exactly the sort of story we wanted to publish. This third (and final…?) chapter is brought to you by our Year 4 Kickstarter, and it’s been a pleasure to work with Denise Schroeder again. It was an even bigger pleasure to have her join this month’s podcast as well! And since it’s been a while since we ran the first two short stories that make up BYG, we’re bringing them back – in their entirety – in this month’s issue for you to download. Enjoy!

Also coming from Sparkler Classics is the first three chapters (90 whopping pages!) of Studio Kosen‘s sexy fantasy extravaganza Lettera, which was originally published in Spanish. As we dive into the third volume in online serialization, we thought it’d be nice to give the magazine fans a hefty download of the start of the series. If you haven’t read any of Lettera yet, you’re in for a treat! Packed with terrific action, hilarious characters, and more tragic backstory than you can shake a magical staff at, the first chapters are included as part of this issue, and then you can go read a whole other book and a half online (or snag them as cheap, awesome ebooks). You’ve got a lot to look forward to. :-D

And that’s not to mention the new installments of Magical How, Knights-Errant, and the long-awaited Cat Lover’s Circumstances in this issue! Knights-Errant and Magical How are also adjusting their serialization schedules this month: Knights-Errant is temporarily going to one page a week (Tues), but Magical How is permanently moving to two days a week (Mondays and Wednesdays), hooray! We know the free online readers crave those bickering boys in dresses more than once a week, so you’re getting your wish granted in 2017. \^o^/

Knights-Errant Volume 1 by Jennifer Doyle (paperback cover)

The Knights-Errant: Volume 1 paperback edition is officially in wide release – the Kickstarter is mostly fulfilled, so if you weren’t a backer, now you can get your hands on this gorgeousness through the good old Sparkler Shop. (Seriously, these books are so lovely… Everyone did such a great job putting them together!)

For you *ahem* older Sparkler readers, we’ve got a slew of new Cherry Bomb stories leading up to Valentine’s Day, following the steamy Tokyo Demons/Tokyo Ghosts short “X-Mas” (Nick x Ayase) we released a few weeks ago! Plus our East Coast team will be heading to the Dealer’s Room of BishonenCon in March and TCAF in May, so come on by and say hello if you’re at either event. And in the meantime, we’ll be wrapping up our submissions reviews, in addition to tweaking the main Sparkler site for 2017. It’s a lot simpler to buy a membership and get your downloads now – just click “Membership” on the top bar to see everything on one page. Tell your friends. :3

Happy New Year, and may 2017 be bright, peaceful, and prosperous for all.

XOXO,

The Sparkler Staff



Get your creepy on!

Happy Halloween, Sparkler Fans! The days are getting shorter and leaves are falling from the trees outside my apartment, so it’s time to snuggle up with some new content from Sparkler! (Los Angeles is currently having a major heat-wave, so it’s not exactly snuggling weather, but it’s the thought that counts, right?)

This month marks the return of Tokyo Demons and the start of Volume 3 of the series, so we decided to go extra-creepy on this cover by featuring everyone’s favorite massively unhealthy relationship, Touya and Kado! Bad touch, Touya, bad touch.

We also get a solid dose of the supernatural with the latest installment of Gatesmith, plus the tension ramps up and clothes are lost in Dusk in Kalevia, while in Skyglass, Moss (thanks to Phoenix) makes a breakthrough–kicking and screaming, no less!

Windrose is on break this month, as Studio Kosen prepares for a big month of travel, but we’ll see chapter 3 of the series in November, along with some exciting new additions to our comics library. In the meantime, Alexis Cooke is drawing us a terrific Dinner Ditz short comic for our member exclusive of the month–that’s coming in Week 3, and it’s going to be a real treat! In Week 4, we fill the last slot of this issue with more Tokyo Demons: the reader-prompted AU short Fukuhashi Fight Club.

In other news, our Membership Drive is still ongoing, as we aim for the next raffle at 200 members. Keep up the great work helping us get the word out, friends! (Like Coco, who’s running her own Sparkler raffle in October!)

And we now have lovely digital copies of Dead Endings, and Tokyo Demons Vol 2 up in the Sparkler shop–buy them and you get additional never-before-seen bonus material. And Before You Go is also available to readers through Comixology now, if you’re curious to try it out in a different electronic medium!



Little Foolery and more in the shop!

shoppromo-littlefoolery

We’re proud to announce that Little Foolery paperbacks are now available in our shop through the Sparkler Distro program! Little Foolery – the creative team of Alex “Muun” Singer and Jayd “Chira” Aït-Kaci – have been publishing their own fantastic comics and illustrated prose for years, including Sfeer Theory (available online here), That Which Wills, and the upcoming Small Town Witch. Their paperbacks are gorgeous (seriously, the Sfeer Theory books have foil cover highlights and are breathtaking) and can now be purchased through the Sparkler Shop, combining shipping with anything else we sell.

Also now available in our shop – ebook downloads of all our shorts! Maiden and the Fish, Before You Go, and Dinner Ditz can now be purchased for $3 – $5 each. Download these great short stories to your e-reader of choice!



May Things Be Awesome

It seems like every month is a busy month for us at Sparkler, but this May is extra exciting! And I’m not just saying that because of the super-hot cover art we got this month from the always-amazing HamletMachine (NSFW) of Starfighter! *huff huff*

First up, a good portion of our crew will be at the Toronto Comics and Arts Festival (TCAF) on May 10th and 11th, with books and merch to sell, plus print copies of our two latest short comics, Before You Go, and Dinner Ditz! Creators Denise Schroeder and Alexis Cooke will be there as well, so stop by our booth and maybe you can get them to sign a book or two for you! The festival is free to enter, so if you’re in the area, we hope you stop on by. (It’s a fabulous event, not just because of Sparkler’s participation! ^_^)

We’re also pleased to announce that we’re running a contest for the next two months that we’re calling Sparkler Share Your World:

sparklershareyourworld-contest

Primarily hosted on our tumblr, we want you to send us artistic depictions (illustrations, comics, songs, stories, you’ve got a lot of options!) of how you share the stories you love with the people you love–for a chance to win a little corner of the internets, plus some pretty swank prizes (including cash!). You can find all the relevant details here, or on the Sparkler Monthly tumblr! You have until June 30th to get your entries in, and we can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

(Speaking of contests, congrats to Petrograd, Christian B., and Marina S. for winning wonder1440’s Off*Beat contest!)

And that’s not even counting all the great new content we’ve got for you this month! The second chapter and conclusion of Dinner Ditz will go up after TCAF (so attendees will get to read the exciting end first!), there’s crazy stuff going on in Dead Endings, a key part of the mystery unravels in Awake, Gauntlet heads for the finish line, the plot thickens in Kalevia, and last, but certainly not least…it’s the exciting finale of Tokyo Demons, Book 2! Whoa, how’d we get here already?! And what will happen to our heroes next?!

Plus, our Subscriber Exclusive for May is the first episode of our new Sparkler Podcast, featuring all the Sparkler team talking about our backgrounds, our goals, and just shooting the breeze about fun, exciting, female-oriented content!

We hope you enjoy!



March-ing Onward!

Here at Sparkler we like to think that March not only comes in like a lion, but it goes out with a roar! We’ve got some really exciting stuff coming up all month, so there’s a lot to look forward to, not in the least because we’re officially getting close to the grand finale of not one, but TWO Sparkler series. This month we’ve got the almost-penultimate chapter of Gauntlet–and in honor of our first Sparkler-original prose series wrapping up, ALL back chapters of Gauntlet will be out from behind the paywall for the next two weeks!

And as hard as it is to believe, we’re actually getting to the long-awaited conclusion of Off*Beat! This month will feature the first half of Chapter 18, which means next month we’ll be finishing up the series with the second half of 18, and…a little epilogue. ;-) And just to whet your appetites a little more, Tory and Colin will be our cover models in April, as well! Eeee!!

Also, we’ve got our first one-shot comic launching this month with Denise Schroeder’s “Before You Go,” on March 14th! Plus, there will be new chapters of Dusk in Kalevia and  Tokyo Demonsboth audio and prose.

In more general news, the March fanart prompt is up in the forums! There’s no prize this time around, but we still love seeing what you all come up with! http://sparklermonthly.com/forums/topic/monthly-prompt-challenge-3-march/

There’s still another 48 or so for anyone who wants to send us an audio pitch! The submissions deadline is Sunday, 11:59pm EST: http://sparklermonthly.com/forums/topic/february-is-audio-month/

And last but not least, Cherry Bomb, our 18+ line, launches this month as well, and just wait ’til you see what we’ve been cooking up for you!

Hopefully the polar vortex has done its worst for the year, but if not, feel free to hunker down with Sparkler to keep you warm! I’ll be hanging out here in Los Angeles, knitting hats for all my poor frozen comrades back East…