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Happy Holidays!!

Sparkler Monthly Issue #041 (December 2016)Whew! Thank you, Sparkler fans, for your enthusiastic support of the Orange Junk Kickstarter, which wrapped up yesterday after meeting its goal! Hooray!! We literally couldn’t have done it without all your likes and reblogs and offers of pole-dancing fanart, and we’re ever so grateful. :-D

It’s been an exciting year here at the Sparkler offices (in all their various locations), and while I’m looking forward to saying “good riddance” to 2016 as a whole, I couldn’t be more proud of the work our amazing creators have put forth, the passion and excitement of our fans, and the many hours our staff members have given to bringing fun, emotional (and sometimes sexy!) Female Gaze content to readers and listeners worldwide. It’s a joy and a privilege to be doing what we do, and your comments, emails, and shares help keep us all motivated. We hope that the stories our creators lovingly produce bring you just as much joy!

For our final issue of the 2016 calendar year, we’ve got some terrific things lined up: the conclusion of Volume 2 of Windrose (cliffhanger, yikes!!), the start of a new chapter of Knights-Errant (backstory?!), horrifying ghost eyeballs in Dead Endings, the next literally explosive installment of Decoy and Retrofit from Always Raining Here guest stars Bell and Hazel, and squeal-worthy romantic progress in Orange JunkAnd for our podcast this month, we have /report host MK (Moonklutz) join us to discuss the Internet’s understandable obsession this winter: the figure-skating anime Yuri on Ice.

What will 2017 bring? We hope to continue to provide the best and brightest in comics, light novels, and audio dramas…and maybe more video games for our fans across the globe! (Which reminds me – those of you who pitched in our last Open Submissions period, our first round of replies has been delayed a bit, but you should receive a response in the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience as we enjoy your submissions!)

XOXO,

Lillian Diaz-Przybyl (comics editor)



Spooky, scary, sexy!

Sparkler Monthly Issue #039 (October 2016)Happy October, Sparkler fans!

In honor of the rapidly impending Halloween, we’ve got a spooky, sexy, scary issue for you this month! Cailen and Everett are introduced to the world of ghost whisperers in Dead Endings, Wil’s run-in with the Margrave turns personal in Knights-Errant, a sinister stranger appears in Magical How, Tara is stuck in a horrific hell-mire in Nine Circles, and in Orange Junk…someone’s moving in for a kiss?! Read the Orange Junk chapter that has the whole Sparkler staff in a shrieking frenzy! :-D Plus, man on man, look at that awesome masquerade ball cover. I love it when characters play dress-up!  oj_keychain_option1-584x543

On the topic of Orange Junk, we’re also celebrating the season by turning the site orange in its honor…and to promote its upcoming Kickstarter! We’re long overdue to get Orange Junk Volumes 2 and 3 (and maybe 4!) into print so you can line them up on your shelf in all their shojo glory, so stay tuned to hear more about that in the next few weeks. As a little taste of what’s to come, don’t miss Heldrad’s special Orange Junk merch livestream on Sunday, October 16th, where you can prompt Heldrad for the chibi of your dreams, and we’ll turn the winner into a keychain. :-D Orange Junk is also moving to five free pages per week on the site until Issue #040 comes out–to help you free readers catch up to the magazine faster–and Heldrad is even the guest of this month’s podcast! She’s a joy to talk to, so listen in for some juicy insight into making modern, Western shojo, including her ridiculous production pace!

Dead Endings paperback Goodreads Giveaway (Oct 2016)
Orange Junk mania isn’t the only exciting event we have happening this month, either. We’re also running a special Halloween Goodreads Giveaway for copies of the Dead Endings paperback right here (free to enter!), and our ongoing Tokyo Demons fanstory contest is open until October 21st, where your story can win you a prize pack and get the voice cast to perform an audio version of your entry!

These are just a few ways to thank you all for being such awesome fans. :-D We couldn’t run this place without your support.

XOXO,

-Lillian (comics editor)

P.S. We got some fantastic submissions in last month–more than 90 of them, in fact! We’re busy reviewing them, and are having a great time doing so. XD



Things are getting hot in here…

Sparkler Monthly Issue #036 (July 2016)Hello, Sparkler fans!

After a couple of comics-heavy months, we’re pleased to bring you an amazing assortment of new content for July! Everyone’s favorite ghost-hunting light novel, Dead Endings, returns with the second chapter of the second volume (featuring evil balloons?!), we have a long-awaited and extra shoujo new installment of our cutest audio drama The Cat Lover’s Circumstances, and the gripping near-finale of the Tokyo Demons series! Plus, we have the start of a brand new short series from Jen Lee Quick – the intense Nine Circles. Fans of the Persona series and Death Parade will find a lot to like in this one, and it’s a fun departure for Jen after a stint in the fantasy world of Witch’s Quarry.

And last but certainly not least is a return to the main plot in Knights-Errant, as we conclude the tale of how Wil wound up in prison in Adigo, only to lead an invading army into the catacombs against the Margrave. It’s all starting to come together…for this part of the tale, anyway! Plus, our podcast for the month (#19) is one we recorded while I was on an East Coast Tour for a wedding – Lianne, Becca, and I got to sit down in person and chat about our favorite (mostly non-anime) animated series! This was unsurprisingly prompted by the tidal wave of Voltron fandom hitting the interwebs. :-D

At the same time, at Sparkler HQ (alternately located in Toronto, Hartford, and Los Angeles), we’re busily prepping Knights-Errant Volume 1 for print, following its successful Kickstarter this spring, while we continue to draw awareness to our Sparkler Year 4 Kickstarter! It may seem like a lot to run these two projects back to back, but this is what we need to keep the magazine going while we offer most of our content for free. And as of this morning, we’re only about 30% funded, with two weeks to go…

Kickstarter for Sparkler Monthly: Year 4!

While we’ve grown our readership by leaps and bounds over the last year and a half, our membership numbers – the funds which go directly to supporting the magazine and paying our creators (and support staff!) – haven’t quite grown in proportion. So this Kickstarter is our way of closing that gap for Year 4 up front, guaranteeing that we’ll be able to bring you another full year of new and exciting comics, audio, and prose, and even open up submissions to find new talent to bring into the magazine! Our staff and creative line-up is almost entirely female, and so if you’re as passionate about female-oriented, female-produced media as we are, please do consider pledging your support!

We’ve gotten so much great help and feedback over the years from our readers and friends, so if you like what we’re doing, please help us by spreading the word – even if you don’t have the cash to help us out directly, singing the praises of Sparkler to the many people out there who haven’t heard about us yet can make a huge difference. New readers, new members, and new Kickstarter backers are what help us keep the lights on (in our various disparate locations…), and keep the wonderful Female Gaze stories flowing freely.

<3

-Lillian Diaz-Przybyl (comics editor)



New Year, New Series!

Sparkler Monthly Issue #030 (Jan 2016)Hello, hello, Sparkler fans! How’s 2016 treating you so far? I can’t believe that this time last year we were just switching from a paywall model to the entire site being free to read, but I’m so glad we made that change…and look how we grew in 2015! We brought a bunch of existing series in under the Sparkler fold, and did a ton of new shorts and mini-series as well. What will 2016 have in store?

Well, to start: this month we’re kicking off the second book of Dead Endings, our fabulously snarky supernatural prose series! Cailen is finally giving in to guidance on how to deal with her ghost-seeing powers, with Gabriella’s vivacious help…but first, time for a round of drinks!

Plus, the terrific team KaiJu is sharing a stand-alone prequel to “The Ring of Saturn,” called “Inhabitant of Another Planet“–which also serves as a direct prequel to their new ongoing series that will kick off this spring! (Not through Sparkler, but we’ll be sure to link to it when it launches.) A three-chapter mini-series set in Paris in the late 1600s, “Inhabitant” has gratuitous costumes, another probable first-for-manga cameo of Christiaan Huygens (to go with Gustav Holst’s appearance in KaiJu’s “Saturn”), plus romance, heartbreak,and poor Raziol trying so hard to find love…

In another “first” for Sparkler, this is actually the first month where ALL of our comics are in full color! Along with “Inhabitant,” we also have new installments of Witch’s Quarry and Knights-Errant. Is this a trend people would like to see continue? We’ve generally aimed more for black and white material, since we have a heavy manga influence, but it’s really fun to see artists like Jen Lee Quick and KaiJu go back and forth between the two styles. Your voice can definitely influence where we go from here!

We’re rounding out our line-up this month with the return of Tokyo Demonswhich is getting close to the end of Book 3, astonishingly. And we’ve got a new podcast, where our team discusses our Sparkler RPG, along with our plans for the future of both the game system itself and the new campaign we’re running with it: ESPU!

Stay tuned for some great stuff this year, folks! We’re all super excited about it, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

~Lillian (comics editor)



All Comics, all the Time!

Sparkler Monthly: Issue #029Happy Holidays, loyal readers, whichever winter-solstice-timed ones you may be celebrating. :-) Our present for you this month is an issue entirely jam-packed with exciting new comics content–our first all-comics issue ever! Starting with the conclusion of the Christmas arc in Orange Junk, we also have a thrilling new chapter of Windrose, adorable updates in Magical How?, supreme awkwardness in Knights-Errant, and the beginning of Veolynn’s backstory in Witch’s Quarryafter YOU voted for her in the reader’s choice poll! Our Sparkler Podcast of the month features two of our lovely prose authors discussing their work: Ellery Prime of Gauntlet and Jenn Grunigen of Skyglass. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff in there for both fans and aspiring writers, so check it out!

For those who may have missed the first round, this month we started a (hopefully) regular Sparkler RPG campaign, using an original tabletop RPG system created by the talented Rebecca, GM’ed by Lianne, and featuring Jen Lee Quick, Rebecca, and me as students at a university for people with psychic powers. Expect many shenanigans, and probably a lot of smooching and crying, if Lianne’s past campaigns are anything to go by. You can watch/listen to our character creation session here: http://sparklermonthly.com/sparkler-rpg/ And the next installment (the start of the story) will be streamed live on Saturday, December 12th, at 7:30 PM EST! Join us and contribute to the game through the chatroom!

In the spirit of the holidays, we also have a bunch of new print and ebooks for you all to enjoy…and maybe share with your loved ones! If you like what we do here at Sparkler, the best way to keep us going is to pick up some of our paperbacks (Dusk in Kalevia and Dead Endings are now in stock!!), check out our ebooks on Comixology or in our own shop, or even get some merch like our adorable keychains, so you can have Wil and Oz fight each other on your backpack.

So to further our capitalistic gains, we’re doing a 10% discount in our shop through the end of December with the coupon code HOLIDAY. Time is flying, and you don’t want to miss out!

What’s on the agenda for 2016? You’ll just have to wait and see, but I’m personally very excited for January already, since we’ll have an exciting new short comic series from the fabulous KaiJu, plus the launch of the second volume of Dead Endings, one of our premiere prose series! Have a wonderful close to 2015 in the meantime.

-Lillian, comics editor



Sparkler Shop Sale: use coupon code HOLIDAY

Use coupon code HOLIDAY to save!

Use the coupon code HOLIDAY in the Sparkler Shop to get a discount on ALL purchases in your cart, including Distro titles and Gift Memberships (you can buy for yourself)! Free USA shipping on orders $60 and above!

If used between now and Monday, Nov 30th: 15% off!

If used between Dec 1st and Dec 31st: 10% off!

Brand-new products!

kaleviaebook_button kaleviapaperback_button  TJandAmal_button  gatesmith_button  sparkler_art_prints  Year1_button

Recent and restocked!

ke_keychains_buttonwindrose_button  deadendings_button  tddaki_button    lettera_button



Year 3 begins next week!

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Thanks to all of you, our Kickstarter was a success, and we’re barreling into a third year! Yaaaaaaaay! \^o^/ Check out the awesome Dead Endings “thank you” graphic from Irene Flores!

Year 3 will begin with Issue 25, and we’re already deep in production–it’s another GIANT issue and we can’t wait to show you guys. We’ll release it sometime next week, once our Kickstarter supporters have been integrated into the site and we’re ready to start this year with a bang!

TDdaki_outfit

And if you haven’t been following the Tokyo Demons Dakimakura Showdown (#TDdaki), it’s not too late to get a vote in! Sachi’s going on that body pillow, and now you get to pick his outfit. :3 Voting ends Saturday!

See you all next week!



A little spring cleaning!

sparkler-april2015Hi, Sparkler fans! We hope you enjoy our delightfully orange color this month to celebrate Orange Junk‘s debut in our magazine with the all-new Chapter 8, available in this month’s issue! And welcome to the digital pages of our magazine, Heldrad. <3

We figured it was time to do a little spring cleaning around here. Hope you like the new look of the site as much as we all do! This is the last in a long string of site updates that have been in progress since the start of this year—but I think we’re finally done for a while! Whew!

While the front page obviously looks different, hopefully your overall experience continues to be as good, if not better than ever. A lot of the changes were done behind the scenes, as we streamline the back end of the site to make maintenance easier, but the most important thing is that you readers can find what you’re looking for, enjoy it, and then share it with others!

But probably the most exciting thing about this update is that we wound up with nearly 100 pages of new comics for you all to enjoy in Issue #021 this month! No wonder I’m so tired. :) Between the end of Gatesmith vol. 1, the magical finale of “Mahou Josei Chimaka,” a silly and sexy Dead Endings side story (our Membership Exclusive of the month), the hilarious new chapter of Orange Junk, plus ongoing updates of Lettera and Witch’s Quarry, we’ve got more amazing comics than you can shake a mop at! And that’s not counting the finale of Dusk in Kalevia on the light novels front, plus a new installment of The Cat Lover’s Circumstances!

The best part, too, is that now we’re in countdown mode to new pages from Knights-Errant as well! Our next issue goes up on May 4th, and in addition to our regular stellar line-up, we’ll be starting the new and ongoing serialization of Jennifer Doyle’s dark historical drama. I, for one, am super stoked!

Anyway, we’re gearing up to head into Year 3 of the magazine this summer, and we couldn’t have made it this far without your enthusiastic support. We hope that you continue to enjoy what our teams are creating, and that you help spread the word about Sparkler and the great work our artists and writers have been producing! This can’t happen without you all, and we’re eager to start Year 3 off strong!

-Lillian (head of comics)



A New Year and New Ideas!

Welcome to 2015–may it be a bright and prosperous one all around!

So you’ve probably already noticed some changes to our site… While I think they’re mostly subtle tweaks, there were some pretty big structural shifts happening behind the scenes, facilitated very much thanks to our hard-working support staff! (Great work, ladies.) We hope they’ve made it easier for you to navigate our site, enjoy your stay, and share our content with fellow fangirls-at-heart!

In that vein, we’re officially dropping our paid archive model. :) The plan was to do away with the paywall if we hit 750 members, but the paywall itself prevents us from reaching new readers as well, so this was our compromise to make things easier on the public. So now it’s gone, and our entire chapter archive is free to read! Which means if you’re new to the site, you can go right now and read the entirety of Off*Beat for free! Or check out our two awesome short prose stories. Or read all of Jess Chavez’s spooky Dead Endings, and maybe consider buying a print copy (coming soon!). (Or listen to Awake, but actually, that’s been free to enjoy pretty much all along. Although you can now purchase an awesome digital download of the full series, which has a ton of bonus content!)

Sparkler Membership still conveys what we hope are meaningful benefits–early access to new content (now about a month earlier than free readers), multi-format digital downloads of the current issue, Member Exclusive bonuses, and for VIP Members, we’ve sweetened the pot again: now every single Cherry Bomb story is yours for no additional charge! But most importantly, your membership dollars pretty much go straight to our creative teams, and help keep the magazine afloat! We’re proud of the fact that we pay people up front for the great content they make for us, but we can’t do it without you. In the coming months (and years!), we need to get our readership high enough to sustain this place. We want our magazine to be something you value, and while we think we’re getting there (we’re already incredibly proud of the work our creative teams have done!), your feedback is always welcome, so let us know what you’d like to see in the future to make that paid membership precious to you.

(From a personal perspective, I’m really psyched that each of our short comics series get their own series page now! You can really see how much great stuff our teams have produced in the last year! More about that in our podcast this month. ;-) )

On the content front, this month we’re bringing out new chapters of Skyglass, Dusk in Kalevia, Windrose, Gatesmith, and Tokyo Demons for you to enjoy! Plus our Sexy Couples Calendar from last month will soon be available as a series of spiffy downloadable desktop backgrounds for members. We’ll have a team podcast with our editorial staff, talking about highlights of 2014, and what we’re all looking forward to in the new year!

As always, thanks a million for your enthusiasm and support! 2014 was a really exciting year for us, and we think we’re on track to make 2015 even better!

<3

The Sparkler Team



Places to review Sparkler titles!

One of the best ways to support independent creators and small presses is to talk about them! Discussion fuels our creators like nothing else, and they love it when you leave comments in our forums.

In addition, for completed books that we sell through various channels, reviews on product pages and other sites can help encourage new readers to find our stuff. We’ve compiled a list of places (below) where you can review any of our books and comics, if you feel so inclined.

If you have an active review blog–or are an established creator–we’re always looking for more formal reviews of our books and/or pull quotes, and we can provide free review copies. Just contact editorial(at)chromaticpress.com or Tweet us at @sparklermonthly to request!

This list will be updated as needed.

Before You Go
Sparkler Store (minicomic)
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon
Comixology

Dead Endings
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon

Dinner Ditz
Sparkler Store (minicomic)
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Amazon

Gauntlet
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon

Maiden and the Fish
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Amazon

Off*Beat Vol 1
Sparkler Store (paperback)
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon
Comixology
Right Stuf

Off*Beat Vol 2
Sparkler Store (paperback)
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon
Comixology
Right Stuf

Off*Beat Vol 3
Sparkler Store (paperback)
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon
Comixology

Ring of Saturn
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Amazon
Comixology

Tokyo Demons Vol 1
Sparkler Store (paperback)
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon
Right Stuf

Tokyo Demons Vol 2
Sparkler Store (ebook)
Goodreads
Amazon



Brrr!

The days are getting shorter and it’s starting to feel like winter outside, but we’ve got plenty of sizzling stuff this month to keep you warm, first and foremost being an amazing, fiery cover by the fantastic Asia Kendrick-Horton. Things are going to heat up in Skyglass Chapter 6 this month, but Phoenix is always smokin’. *wink wonk*

Gatesmith and Dusk in Kalevia are both taking a month off, but our line-up this month is still super exciting. We’ve got a thrilling new installment of Windrose, the dramatic next section of Tokyo Demons Vol. 3, the start of the brand-new mini-series For Peace from Dinner Ditz‘s Alexis Cooke (featuring lady truckers in loooove!), plus a teaser of a new KaiJu magical-woman mini-series that will launch in our December issue: Mahou Josei Chimaka!

That’s to say nothing of DNA-RW, a dark prose short by two creators we’re happy to welcome to Sparkler: Sarah “Neila” Elkins of Here There Be Monsters, and Ru Xu of Saint for Rent! Nel has an unusual ability–she can copy DNA and rewrite her own DNA to match it. When she decides to use this shape-shifting skill to help find a serial kidnapper, she swiftly finds herself in over her(?) head.

And last but certainly not least, our Member Exclusive of the month will be a behind-the-scenes chat with the actors from Awake, our first original audio drama! Stay tuned for that in Week 3 this month. ^_^ It’s to celebrate the release of the complete Awake series set coming to the Sparkler Shop in Week 4. And speaking of the shop, we recently released a limited run of Sparkler mini sketchbooks that are available now!

BTW, if you don’t follow our Tumblr or Facebook, you might have missed that we’ve got a bunch of our comics up on Comixology now, if you like reading things that way. (I know I do! The Ring of Saturn looks particularly great on my tablet. ;-) And if you’re looking for the perfect ebook to curl up with on a gloomy day with your hot beverage of choice, Dead Endings is now up and available in a new complete edition (with a bonus story!) from our shop, or via Amazon!

In other news, Gauntlet has been sent to press, and Tokyo Demons vol. 2 isn’t far behind! We should have those available in spiffy print editions for all your holiday shopping needs before too long. <3



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!



Dead Endings ebook (complete) in the Shop!

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The complete Dead Endings ebook–featuring revised text from the online serialization and two bonus short stories: the Valentine’s Day special and a brand-new story about Everett not available online–is now in the Sparkler Shop! Enjoy this snarky-yet-terrifying mystery about ghosts in modern NYC. And you can start by reading Chapter 1 for free now!



Back to School with Sparkler!

It’s the end of summer, much to our dismay, but you can start the school year off right with some fine original fiction from Sparkler! This month we have the second installments of our two new comics series, Gatesmith and Windrose, plus things get even messier in Kalevia, Phoenix tries her hand at something ambitious in Skyglass…and we reach the emotional finale of Awake!

Our subscriber exclusive for the month will be a podcast with Off*Beat and Gatesmith creator Jen Lee Quick—we’re recording it next weekend, so please feel free to send us your questions for Jen via social media (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, take your pick!) so we can include them in the podcast!

Plus, Gauntlet is now available as an ebook in our Shop—print version coming soon! And later this month, we’ll get the ebook of both Tokyo Demons: Book 2 and Dead Endings!

And thanks so much for your support so far in getting the word out about our Membership Drive! Your help here is invaluable. Keep up the great work on your end, and we’ll be able to provide you with even more great content on our end. As always, your feedback is very welcome as well–this is the second month where we’re releasing all our content at once (minus the member exclusive, which comes on the third Monday of the month), and we’re curious to see what you all think! Plus, we’ve changed our member downloads to have all comics and all prose in a single file (or one giant PDF!), and “series-so-far” downloads for individual series for VIP members. Is this something you’re all using? Are you enjoying it? Let us know what you think and how we can make your experience with Sparkler easier and ever more enjoyable!

<3 The Sparkler Monthly Team

P.S. There are many fine things about living in Southern California, but I really, really miss New England autumns…



Big Bad Wolf and more in the shop!

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We’re thrilled to announce that the first paperback edition of SG Lee’s webfiction series Tales of the Big Bad Wolf Volume 1: Red Riding Hood has debuted in the Sparkler Shop as part of our Sparkler Distro program! The multiple-format ebook is also available, and can be bundled with the paperback for a discount. Fairytale and prose fans, this massive tome is sure to delight you. Shipping can be combined with anything else we sell.

Also now available in our shop – the long-awaited TJ & Amal Volume 3 (and complete series set) for you EK Weaver fans! (Which should be all of you, BECAUSE SHE’S AMAZING.) We also have ebook downloads of the complete Ring of Saturn comic by Kaiju and a pre-order for Jessica Chavez/Irene Flores’s spooky-yet-hilarious novel Dead Endings, since both series have ended in Issue #013. And if you missed last week’s announcement, we’re also carrying Jamie Lynn Lano’s incredible memoir of working on manga in Japan: The Princess of Tennis.

That’s a lot of great work by a lot of great ladies. Enjoy!



Happy Indie Publish–er…Independence Day!

Happy Independent Publishing Compan–I mean… Happy Independence Day, America!

And a belated Happy Canada Day to our friends (and co-founders) up North. I’m celebrating the holidays by going to Anime Expo. ^_^ Nothing says FREEDOM like a zillion cosplayers and a bustling Artist’s Alley!

This month we are thrilled to announce the premiere of our newest comic serial, Windrose, by creative team Studio Kosen! We’ve been huge fans of Kosen’s work for ages, and this we can’t wait to share this swashbuckling tale of 17th Century romance and mystery with you all.

Also this month, rockers rock out in Skyglass, Cailen finds the killer in Dead Endings, rival angels come face to face in Kalevia, and Miriam goes stargazing in “The Ring of Saturn.” We’re also excited to welcome Little Foolery paperbacks into the Sparkler Shop, along with new ebook products for our short stories! From July, the climactic Awake Chap 9 is now free to stream, and did you check our the surprise continuation of Tokyo Demons: Book 2? :)

Plus, you have until Sunday morning, July 6th to send the Sparkler staff your questions for our latest Sparkler Podcast–which will be this month’s Subscriber Exclusive. Tell us what you’ve been dying to know, and we’ll do our best to answer in entertaining and original ways! Submit your questions now on Tumblr or Facebook or email your questions to manager@chromaticpress.com.

As longtime Sailor Moonies who are insanely excited about Sailor Moon Crystal‘s debut, we launched our Sparkler Blog today to discuss how Sailor Moon influenced our fujoshi editors. And if you’re at Connecticon this month, come see Dusk in Kalevia author Emily Compton and Sparkler editors Lianne and Rebecca on the Writing Fiction through the Female Gaze panel at 5 pm on Friday (July 11).

Thanks again for all your support in June! We got a ton of great entries for the Sparkler Share Your World contest (we’ll be announcing the winners soon!), and with your help, reblogs and Facebook shares, we completed our Kickstarter for a print-run of Gauntlet. We’ll be sending that to the printer shortly, with Tokyo Demons Volume 2 joining it soon after.

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since we officially launched Sparkler Monthly… We’ve learned a ton and had a great time working with some amazingly talented creators, and we’re going to be putting some of our hard-won knowledge into action next month with a few changes to the site and our format. More details will be coming soon, but we’re looking forward to heading into Sparkler Year 2 with new energy and a whole lot of great stories to excite and inspire!



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!



The End of Off*Beat

Sparkler update: The end of Off*Beat!

This is it–after years and years of waiting, the final chapter of Off*Beat is up on the site now! We can hardly believe it’s over–after waiting for an ending for so long, wanting to see things finally get resolved for Tory and Colin…at least 50% of the Sparkler staff has been reduced to tears this week.

*sniff*

Anyway! Are you already a Sparkler subscriber? You can read the final chapter right here, right now.

Or, if you were waiting for the series to be over before reading, head to the series page to start from the beginning.

Not yet a subscriber? You can fix that right here!

Plus, we’re currently taking preorders for the print version of Off*Beat volume 3! There’s still a lot of work to be done before we have the finished paperback in hand, but if you’d like to buy it now and then get a sweet surprise in the mail in early July, you can use the links below.

Volume 3 alone

The complete series (books 1-3)

Both the single book and the set can be bought alone, or in a special deluxe edition with a keychain, postcard, new buttons, etc.

We’ve also extended the deadline on the big Off*Beat contest to the end of April! Read about it here.

Thank you SO MUCH to all the fans who’ve made this possible. Getting to rescue a series that we all love so much, that never got an ending–it’s been such an incredible experience, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of so many great Off*Beat fans who wanted to read the ending just as much as we did.

Anyway, once you manage to tear yourself away from Off*Beat, we’ve got another great update for you–Dusk in Kalevia volume 4 is up for subscribers!

And last week’s chapter of Dead Endings is now free to read for a limited time.

Thanks guys, and we hope you enjoy the ending :D



End of an Era

Jeez… It honestly feels a little surreal, but this month brings the long-awaited end of Off*Beat. The second half of Off*Beat Chapter 18, plus a short epilogue, goes up on April 18th, and then that’s it! I’ll talk more about this in other venues this month (i.e. tumblr), but it’s going to be almost exactly 10 years since Off*Beat officially started production (it was one of the first things I worked on at TOKYOPOP), and now we’re finally getting to the finale. *wipes away a tear* Jen and I are both really excited to bring you the conclusion to this series, but it’s a little sad to see it go! But fear not, there’s definitely more from Jen on the horizon…

Anyway, in honor of the end of an era, we’ve got a great Off*Beat contest running, courtesy of superfan  wonder1440! Test your knowledge and win a Sparkler Monthly subscription! (Which will be added to your current subscription if you’re already a subscriber, of course!)

Mind you, there are plenty of new things springing up around here as well! We’ve got a new short story in the comics department–Alexis Cooke channels some quality josei vibes in Dinner Ditz, which was described internally as “SO F#&%ING CUTE.” Plus we’ve got some sexy lady pin-ups coming from the amazing rem as our subscriber exclusive this month, and your regularly scheduled updates of Dusk in Kalevia and Tokyo Demons Audio.

But I’m personally extra excited about a double-dose of Dead Endings, with a chapter in Week 2 and Week 4 of the month!  If you haven’t checked out this fabulous, hilarious, and deeply creepy NYC ghost story, this is a great time to jump on board!

Spring is in full bloom, and we here at Sparkler are happy to watch all our various series grow and flourish along with it!

 



A month of romance!

It’s a huge month for us here at Sparkler–we’ve got all four of our prose series updating, a new chapter of Awake, and a new chapter of Off*Beat! 

And for our subscriber exclusive this month, Jess Chavez brings us a Dead Endings side-story about what our favorite spirit hunters do on the most romantic night of the year. (BTW, while planning this story, we had a little internal discussion about our favorite Valentine’s experiences, and mine involved drinking heavily with some college friends while watching men’s Olympic figure skating. It was awesome! But not nearly as awesome as what Gabriella and Cailen are up to…)

In other news, we’re looking for audio pitches, so if you’re a fan of Japanese drama CDs, or you’re part of the Welcome to Night Vale craze and want to try your hand crafting something to tickle the ears of Sparkler subscribers and make their hearts go pitter-pat, this is your chance! Becca, our head of audio, is fielding questions in the forum all month, and our general guidelines can be found here as well:  (http://sparklermonthly.com/submissions-questions/)

Also, winners have been chosen in our January Fanart contest, but the Valentine’s Fanart Prompt will run all through this month, ending in a raffle on March 1st. Read all about it here: http://sparklermonthly.com/forums/topic/monthly-prompt-challenge-2-february/  We got some amazing submissions the first time around, and we’re all eager to see more!

Happy Valentine’s Day!