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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



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)



Sequels, surprises, and sci-fi!

Sparkler Monthly Issue #040 (November 2016)Hello, Sparkler Fans!

Welcome to our (belated) November update. Feeling post-election blues? Self-medicate with the finest Female Gaze content, with stories from the past to stories set in the future…and a time-skip in our favorite not-so-light novel series, Tokyo Demons – as we segue into the sequel series, Tokyo Ghosts! 

Things are super busy at our various Sparkler locations this month, heading into an exciting holiday season. We’re thrilled to welcome a brand-new series to the Sparkler Distro program: Hotblood by Toril Orlesky, the fascinating comic about a centaur in the American Old West most of you already know and love. Fresh off its Kickstarter, you can now purchase the Omnibus paperback and companion art book from the Sparkler Shop! In addition, we’ve added the TJ and Amal epilogue comic “Five Years Ago and Three Thousand Miles Away” (to go with the TJ and Amal Omnibus) to the Sparkler Shop, and remember – buy $60 worth of stuff (digital and/or print) and get free USA shipping, which is a deal we won’t be able to offer for much longer. Stock up on your favorite webcomics for the holidays!

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We’ve also launched the Orange Junk Kickstarter at last! \^o^/ We’ve got MULTIPLE volumes of that series ready to be printed if we can raise the funds on Kickstarter, and Heldrad has done some fantastic merchandise bonuses (including the fan-decided keychain from October and even…a customizable sexy body pillow case)?! Get your Orange Junk fix and help us bring Volumes 2 – 4 into print, because Volume 5 is starting soon!! *shriek*

Speaking of Kickstarter, we’ve also got Kickstarters being completed, as print volumes of Knights-Errant Volume 1 will ship this month. :D (The ebook is already available!) We’ve continued to enjoy all the fabulous submissions we received earlier this fall – the biggest influx of pitches we’ve ever had. It’s incredible that we’ve got so many talented and passionate fans! The first round of replies will be coming out in November, and thank you for your patience as we make our first decisions.

Orange Junk paperback Kickstarter - running now!

In the meantime, cuddle up with some cocoa or a favorite hot beverage of choice (as long as you’re not in Los Angeles, where it’s still 85 degrees out), and check out our new issue! We’ve got a hell of a plot twist in Knights-Errant, passionate confessions (?!) in Orange Junk, attempts to grow wiser while growing older in the prequel story to Tokyo Ghosts, dark pasts and shivery secrets in Magical How, and…the first installment of Decoy and Retrofit, the terrific new BL light novel from Hazel & Bell, creators of Always Raining Here and The Prison Tower! This was a goal in our Year 4 Kickstarter, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with a team as fresh and original as Hazel & Bell. We hope you all enjoy this story as much as we do!

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



Year 4!! Video games, submissions, and finales, oh my!

Sparkler Monthly Issue #037 (August 2016, start of Year 4)Hello, Sparkler Fans!

Thanks to all your reblogs, sharing, and support, we’re primed and ready for a killer Year 4 of Sparkler Monthly! Woo hoo! On the docket we’ve got video games, new audio dramas, new series, more of the great content you’ve come to expect from us…and…we’re opening submissions again! The biggest debut of Year 4 could be YOU!

To celebrate the success of our Year 4 Kickstarter, we’re thrilled to announce that this first issue of the year…is ABSOLUTELY FREE TO DOWNLOAD! Free readers, lurkers, newbies, friends you’ve been pushing to try Sparkler – everyone can get their copy without paying a dime to see the sort of monthly delights we offer our members. And what an issue it is…

Out of Sync keychain by Romy-chan!

Issue #037 includes our very first video game with dev team Paper Star StudiosOut of Sync is a BL visual novel about two J-pop idols (in separate boy bands) who reconnect after being separated by the industry, and boy, does it get hot. So hot, in fact, that we have a “complete” version in our Cherry Bomb line that includes extended versions of the two fade-to-black love scenes, for you older fans who want to see everything. :) Also included in this issue is an exclusive 50-page booklet to go with the game, which includes Out of Sync game art, a preview of the script, and bonus art and pin-ups by head artist Cap o’Rushes! We even released a super cute keychain by team artist Romy-chan as part of this launch!

Also in this issue: the series finale of Tokyo Demons after 5+ years of serialization (get the tissues), a scream-worthy new chapter of Windrose with more shocking romantic developments, and a heartfelt chapter of Orange Junk that reveals something…that a lot of you have been hoping for more of in the pages of Sparkler. :D And our podcast of the month is with Eurika Yusin Gho, the hilarious creator of Magical How? who sits with her Sparkler editors and discusses boys in skirts and the future of the series!

Yaoicon 2016, woo!In addition, Sparkler will have a Dealer’s Booth at Yaoicon in a few weeks, and it looks like our three department heads–Lillian (comics), Lianne (prose), and Rebecca (audio)–will all be there, along with sparly piles of Sparkler books and merch. Come see us. :D

Since Year 4 has some open slots in the magazine, open submissions will start again in September (for the first time in almost 2 years), so prep your ideas! We’ll be releasing updated guidelines in the next week or two, so be sure to follow us on social media (Twitter, Tumblr, and/or Facebook) for the newest info. You’ve got until the end of September to send us your short story, comics series, and short prose pitches.

Onward and upward!

-The Sparkler Team



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)



Happy LGBT History/Pride Month!

Sparkler Monthly Issue #035 (June 2016)Hello, Sparkler fans!

This was totally coincidental, since every month at Sparkler is at least a little bit queer, but I’m super happy that our cover for June (also known as LGBT History Month and/or Pride Month) is the two amazing women from Windrose sharing a romantic moment. Thanks for providing us with this glorious (and very timely) illustration, Studio Kosen! It was no contest in choosing what was going to get our cover spot this time around. The rest of the chapter is fabulous, too, with angsty backstory, hurt-comfort, and present-day shenanigans, so we hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!

What else is on the table for this month’s issue? A horrifying and beautiful Knights-Errant bonus story (funded by the Kickstarter!) about Anton and Beppe, the final(!) fight in Tokyo Demons, awkward and awful confessions in Orange Junk, and a little coffee klatch with the new team of short-skirted and stylish magicals in Magical How! (But seriously, we need to put, like, a zillion trigger warnings on that Knights-Errant story… If only it didn’t hurt so good!)

In addition, you get a new podcast episode in which our editorial team talks about our plans for Year 4 of the magazine – and its upcoming Kickstarter. Sparkler defines itself as being a “female gaze” publication, which I feel we, the founders, often translate pretty directly into “stuff we like and want to publish” since we’re also the target audience. :-D But regardless, I take a lot of pride in having a diversity of stories in our line-up, featuring not just characters of a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds, but a variety of gender expressions and sexual orientations as well. And I’m proud that our audience has always responded not just positively, but enthusiastically to the full spectrum of stories that we present.

As we close Year 3 and look forward to Year 4, that’s a goal of ours that I’m eager to continue, and maybe even expand! Details on that will be rolling out over the next few weeks with our Year 4 Kickstarter, so stay tuned… But in the meantime, have fun with the new issue!

XOXO

-Lillian (comics editor)



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)



Fun, family, friends and fingers!

Sparkler Monthly Issue #033 (April 2016)

Hello hello, Sparkler friends!

Since our last update, we launched a hugely exciting Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing of Volume 1 of Jennifer Doyle’s fantastic historical drama Knights-Errant, and we’ve already hit our funding goal! Woo! With three weeks left to go, we’re super close to our first stretch goal (hooray for bookmarks!), and there are even more exciting things in our plans, depending on our ongoing support from you fans. If you haven’t already pledged, it’s certainly not too late! Not only can you get a book, you can get an autograph, adorable keychains, or even a Wil/Oz body pillow! I mean, who doesn’t want to cuddle up with a couple of surly mercenaries? Check it out here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chromaticpress/knights-errant-volume-1-by-jennifer-doyle/

Knights-Errant Vol 1 paperback on Kickstarter now!

And for our April issue, we’re diving into the second volume of Knights-Errant, with the first six pages of Chapter 4! Things are off to a *killer* start, if you’ll pardon the pun. ;-) Get ready and get set for the whole crew to go to war!!

On a lighter note, Bruce stews over whether to step into a new role as an actor/model in Orange Junk, the Gleam Team brings the intensity (and glitter!) in Magical How?, Vee’s backstory concludes as she befriends her long-lost (adorable) brother in Witch’s Quarry, and we get a special Tokyo Demons side story–a tale featuring Ayase and Nick, specially requested by loyal Sparkler fan Hanna Paquette!

TCAFLogo

In Sparkler Podcast #16 this month, we have another creator roundtable: this time with Kate Rhodes and Jennifer Xu, the two members of comic creation team KaiJu (Mahou Josei Chimaka, Inhabitant of Another Planet, and The Ring of Saturn)! We obviously love their work here at Sparkler, and it was great to sit down with them and discuss their process, especially since collaboration is different for every creative pair. As a bonus, they also discuss their upcoming series: the epic comic Novaein the same world as Inhabitant and Ring of Saturn!

As always, our crew is running a big table and participating in panels at TCAF in early May, so if you’re in Toronto for that, stop by the Sparkler booth (usually on the second floor) and say hi! We’ll be at the table covered in sparkles.



Year 3!!

sparklermag-august2015_siteWow… Look how far we’ve come! Three years, six novels, over a thousand pages of comics, hours of audio dramas, and hundreds of loyal, devoted fans. It’s kind of mind-blowing to think about it, really, and things are only going to get better from here. Thanks to everyone who backed our successful Kickstarter (over 16K reached!!), we’re starting off Year 3 strong, and hope to only get stronger along the way!

To celebrate our first issue of the new Sparkler Year, Issue #025, we’ve got new installments of Skyglass, Knights-Errant, and Tokyo Demons, plus another HUGE chunk of Witch’s Quarry, including almost 20 brand-new pages of gender-bending fantasy adventure. And that’s not to mention the latest chapter of our favorite adorable audio drama, The Cat Lover’s Circumstances, back from its long break. :-D Combined with a new episode of our Sparkler Podcast (on video games), this issue is almost 200 pages long with 2 hours of audio!

It’s an August issue that’s hot, sweet, exciting, and full of magic, sure to delight and entertain through the final dog days of summer. Enjoy!!

Sunshine & Rainbows,

The Sparkler Team

Note: Unfortunately, due to family circumstances, the start of Windrose Vol. 2 is currently delayed. We hope to see it return in September or October!



Year 3 begins next week!

Screenshot 2015-08-03 23.00.18

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!



Issue #024–Summer heats up, and so does our Kickstarter!

sparklermag-july2015Hello all!

I’m done with Anime Expo and moving on to Comicon, but in-between, we have a great issue for you all! New chapters of Skyglass, Knights-Errant, and Orange Junk this month, plus HUGE changes in Tokyo Demons, and a whopping pile of Witch’s Quarry, to prepare for its new pages to start in August! Whew! Plus, our Membership Exclusive of the month is a 62-page side story to Witch’s Quarry–“Rogue x Knight” covers a bit of Wesyng’s backstory, or at least the part of it that overlaps with what Deshad was up to when he came up with his crazy prince-and-the-pauper scheme. It’s sexy and funny and dramatic, and you’re gonna love it.

So the other big news of the month, which technically started last month and is now continuing, is that we’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help fund Year 3 of the magazine. We’ve always had great support from our loyal fans, but we want to push for more stability, and maybe even be able to grow and expand a bit more in the coming year! Our creators have been incredibly generous with their offerings in the rewards tiers, and its their work that you’re funding with your precious Kickstarter dollars, so if you like what we do here and you want to see more of it, check it out, share it around, and think about donating! We can’t do this without you. <3 <3 <3

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Check out the Year 3 Kickstarter here!

Onward and upward!

Lillian (head of comics)