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

A MONTHLY DIGITAL MAGAZINE OF COMICS, PROSE AND AUDIO

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May flowers and resting on our laurels (just for a minute!)

Sparkler Monthly Issue #034 (May 2016)Greetings, Sparkler friends!

Happy May! We’ve got a great issue for you, with new pages from Knights-Errant, fresh from its incredibly successful Kickstarter (a Beppe & Anton short story, foil emboss, AND an Oz and Kadeen story?! Your generosity has blessed us all!). Beyond that, things are getting “drama”-tic in Orange Junk, an above-average number of scary bees in Tokyo Demons, and the marvelous conclusion to KaiJu’s latest short, “Inhabitant of Another Planet.” Cue gross sobbing…

Our additional features for this issue are audio, and include a downloadable Sparkler Soundtrack of original music that Becca, our audio department head, has composed for our various projects over the last few years. Neat! Becca works her butt off on the audio side of the magazine, so this is an exciting way to highlight how much she’s put into that initiative, and how much we all appreciate it. Hope you all enjoy it as well!

Plus we have our latest podcast, featuring Emily Compton and Onorobo of Dusk in KaleviaThese two charmers put out a terrific supernatural spy novel with us, but they’ve also worked on other amazing projects, including Hiveswap and Starfighter: Eclipse. Hearing them talk is a real treat.

If you’re in a shopping mood, we also have two new products in the Sparkler Shop: the ebook for Lettera Volume 2 by Studio Kôsen, which is something like 40 pages(!) ahead of the free online serialization, and an especially awesome Sparkler Distro hardcover: Small Town Witch: Love & Wonder by Little Foolery! Get ’em while they’re hot. And stay tuned for the return of the Sparkler RPG: ESPU this month, with our next session streaming LIVE on May 28th!

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It’s been a series of busy months for the whole Sparkler team, between day jobs and everything we do here, so we’re looking forward to sitting back a bit and celebrating some of our accomplishments once this issue is out. Most of our staff is off to TCAF (the Toronto Comic Arts Festival) this weekend, which is always a great time – so if you’re in town, we hope you stop by our table and say hello! We’ll have all our books and most of our merch there for sale. It’s like a little working vacation for our crew, but it’s a great way to recharge and get in touch with our readers to see what you’re enjoying, and what you’d like to see more of in the future. We’re all doing this because we love it, but we want to make sure you all love it, too.

XOXO

-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



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)



Marching ever onward!

It’s almost spring, Sparkler fans, even if it doesn’t much feel like it on the East Coast. (And we just had a freak hailstorm out here on the West Coast!) So here’s a fresh, exciting new issue for all of you to enjoy!

March brings us a fabulous new installment of Windrose along with the second chapter of our charming new audio drama, The Cat Lover’s Circumstances. Plus, things get steamy in Tokyo Demons, the revolution in Dusk in Kalevia comes to a head, and two young men work through a rough patch in their friendship in the fantastic short story “Shut In Shut Out,” from Lianne Sentar and Grey Is… webcomic artist dee Juusan! And our Member Exclusive bonus of the month will be a special Skyglass side story–look forward to it!

Anyway, I’ve always felt that March is a month of transitions and new beginnings. It’s been two months since we went paywall-free on the Sparkler archive, and in that time we’ve continued to think about ways to further improve your Sparkler experience (TM!). You’ll probably notice some subtle changes to the site over the next month, with some slightly bigger ones probably in April, but our general goal is to make your reading and sharing experience easier and more enjoyable. As always, fan feedback on that front is very welcome–we want to make Sparkler a fun place full of great content that’s easy to browse and hard to leave, and it’s useful for us to know what we can do to make your experience better!

The most obvious change is a simple tweak to our non-paywall release schedule–for comics, we’ll be updating alternating series daily. So from now on: on Tuesday and Thursday, one new page of Windrose and two new pages of Witch’s Quarry shall emerge from behind the paywall, and Mon/Wed/Fri, two new pages of “Shut In Shut Out” will be released. We’ll be overhauling our series pages over the course of the month to make each individual series easier to track in our new system; the great thing about a digital format is that if we don’t like how things are playing out, we can just keep fine-tuning. :-) And on that note…we’re close to some very big surprises in the comics department that should start to roll out this month, so stay tuned!

I think this is a particularly terrific issue all around, and I hope you have as much fun with our content this month as we’ve had putting it all together!

<3

The Sparkler Staff



Sexy 2015 Couples Calendar (digital)

>> Members and non-members can buy a print version of this calendar! <<

We asked for your favorite Sparkler couples – and the incredible guest artist M (link slightly NSFW) has brought your fantasies to life. Members can enjoy 2015 with sexy pin-ups of:

Off*Beat: Tory x Colin | Awake: Hina x Robbie | Dusk in Kalevia: Demyan x Toivo | Tokyo Demons: Ayase x Sachi x Kado

Not a Sparkler Member? Sign up now or buy a poster print version of this calendar!

Click THIS INCREDIBLE SQUEE to continue…

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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



The end of the year is upon us…

Happy Holidays from all of us at Sparkler!

Gracing our cover this month are Sadie and Robin, here by popular request for a special holiday sequel to “Before You Go,” one of our short comics series from earlier this year. They’re bringing a touch of winter romance to our pages this month, and we hope you’re all as happy to see them again as we are! ^_^

Also on the comics front is a new installment of Gatesmith, launching a new story arc in the frontier town of Edgeward, plus the first installment (after a terrific teaser in November!) of KaiJu’s new short series Mahou Josei Chimaka, a little Sparkler-style magical woman series.

On the prose side, things (FINALLY!!) take a sexy turn in Dusk in Kalevia, and both the drama and the romance ramp up in Skyglass!

Last but not least, our Member Exclusive of the month will be a new podcast, wherein the Sparkler team (and perhaps some special guests!) discuss writing love, romance and sexy stuff for a female audience. *wink* Don’t forget to send us your questions via our social media channels!

And even more important, don’t forget that throughout December you can get 10% off on everything in the Sparkler Shop, including memberships and Distro titles, using the code: HOLIDAY

Among the things that will be available this month are paperback editions of both Gauntlet and a pre-order of Tokyo Demons Volume 2, plus the complete digital edition of Awake, our first original audio drama, which includes an hour and a half of all-new bonus material. Just in time for all your holiday needs! <3

On a more business-like note, we’ve been doing a ton of site upgrades lately–if you haven’t checked us out on mobile recently, our mobile experience is sleeker than ever. You also may have noticed that Sparkler Monthly comes with the comforting green lock to make sure you know that we’re a secure site–we’re excited to announce that this change comes because you can now subscribe to the magazine directing through our site, no PayPal account required! And if you want your local store, library, or club to order any of our books (and quite a few of our Distro books), we just launched our first quarterly catalog. There will be additional changes to the site over the next month or so, so stay tuned for more details!

 



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!



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!



Contest: Share Your World

sparklershareyourworld-contest

(Hosted on the Sparkler Monthly Tumblr!)

We here at Sparkler Monthly believe in the power of getting lost in the worlds of stories we adore – and what’s cooler than inviting other people to share those worlds? Whether it’s loaning your favorite book to a close friend or inviting your buddies over to marathon that amazing new show, you’re inviting other people into your heart.

How do you share your world? Draw us a picture (or a mini-comic!), write a short story or poem, or maybe even make us a song or a video about the ways that you share beloved stories with beloved people. Don’t want to recreate yourself or other people you know? Feel free to use your original characters! (No fanart without the creator’s permission, please.)

The Sparkler editors will be awarding prizes to our favorite entries, judged on creativity, skill, and FEELS. The top prizes include cash, paperbacks, and subscriptions to our magazine!

Submit your entry via the Submit Link on the Sparkler Monthly Tumblr – we will reblog the entries that follow all the contest rules (so make sure you read below!):

Contest terms and conditions:

-Entries will be accepted until 11:59 P.M EST, June 30th, 2014.

-Include a name and contact that you’re okay with us posting (and a link for your characters, if they’re from your webcomic or something and you want other people to check it out). If you want your public credit to be anonymous, just mention that and let us know how we can contact you if you win.

-Only one entry per person.

You will retain all the rights to your work – we only reserve the right to share it on social media (with your credit) and feature the winners on our site.

-Employees or freelancers who work for Sparkler Monthly or Chromatic Press are not eligible for the prizes, although we’re happy to have them participate. We are open to submissions from all over the world!

-We have the right to not reblog submissions for content reasons.

-We’ll accept drawings, short comics, photographed crafts, music, and videos, as well as short stories and poems of 500 words or less. We picked the illustration above, drawn by Onorobo for Emily Compton‘s Dusk in Kalevia, as a great example of the kind of thing we’d love to see!

Prizes:

1st prize: US$200 cash prize, a year-long subscription to Sparkler Monthly, a one-month gift subscription to the friend of your choice, and your entry will be featured on the Sparkler Monthly site.

2nd prize: A year-long subscription to Sparkler, any three (3) paperbacks from our store (excluding Sparkler Distro), and your entry featured on the Sparkler site.

3rd prize: 6-month subscription, plus one (1) paperback (excluding Sparkler Distro).

Fan favorite: Whoever gets the most notes on our Tumblr (excluding the above winners) wins a year-long subscription and any one (1) item from our store – such as a book, keychain, or poster (excluding Sparkler Distro).

10 runners-up: An additional ten (10) awesome entries will win a one-month subscription to Sparkler Monthly!

Follow our Tumblr (sparklermonthly) to see the entries as we get them!

For any questions, post here or send an Ask on our Tumblr. Good luck!

Tags:

Tumblr: #Sparkler share your world

Twitter: #Sparklershareyourworld



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!

 



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…



Little hiccup with Off*Beat this month

Hey, Sparkler readers! We’re sorry to say that Off*Beat is unexpectedly behind this month; Jen has been having issues with her baby. (Nothing serious, thankfully! Just a baby being a baby. :D) She’s still working her butt off to catch up, and we’ve rearranged this month’s schedule to compensate:

Week 3 (Friday, Jan 17th): Tokyo Demons Audio, Chapter 8, Part 2

Week 4 (Friday, Jan 24th) Tokyo Demons prose, Chapter 7, Part 1

Week 5 (Friday, Jan 31st): Dusk in Kalevia debut!

We’re hoping that we’ll have an Off*Beat release somewhere in there, but we won’t announce anything until we have more solid news from Jen. Sorry for the delay!



New Series for a New Year!

Happy 2014, Sparkler fans!

2013 was obviously a huge year for us, from announcing this whole shebang, making the trek to TCAF, and running a successful Kickstarter to reprint Off*Beat vol. 1 & 2, to actually launching the magazine over the summer, and then continuing to strive to give you fun new things to read (and listen to!) every month. Your enthusiasm and support has warmed our hearts and kept our hard-working creators working their hardest, even while caring for an infant, in the case of Jen Quick! We’ve got some exciting plans in store for 2014, so we look forward to sharing a whole lot more with you this new year!

Just to be sure we start things off with a bang, this month we bring you a thrilling new light novel, Dusk in Kalevia, by Emily Compton, with illustrations by the amazing Onorobo! I don’t think any of us were expecting to run a Cold War spy drama within our first year of launching this magazine, but Emily totally knocked our socks off with this story, and we think you’re going to love it. Stay tuned on January 31st, when the first chapter goes live for paid subscribers!

In other news, submissions are closed for prose, with some responses still outstanding for comics (ugh, I’m so sorry…), but for audio fans, and we know you’re out there, submissions will be opening up in February 2014! There’s an exciting world of audio dramas out there these days, so if you’ve got an idea to tickle listeners’ eardrums, start planning your submission now! More details here:  http://sparklermonthly.com/submissions-questions/

Also, we hope you stop on by the Sparkler Forums to check out our Winter Fanart Prompt! There are already some amazing pieces up there, but the current contest will go through January and end in a raffle on Feb 1st:

http://sparklermonthly.com/forums/topic/monthly-prompt-challenge-1-december/

Happy New Year!! Whee!