× 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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It’s the Final Countdown!

Hello hello, Sparkler Fans!

This is it–the final week of our Year 5 Kickstarter, and to be honest, it’s going to be a nail-biter…

We’ve got cool plans for Year 5, and we’re really excited about our expanded line-up, but we can’t continue without your help! We pay all our creators for their pages that run in the magazine, and the additional costs of staffing, servers, and maintenance do add up. If you haven’t had the chance to check out our Kickstarter yet, it’s not too late! If you’ve already donated, please consider sharing with like-minded friends who love comics, light novels, games, and the Female Gaze. <3 We’ve still got some great rewards tiers available, from ebooks and paperbacks, to being able to read all 5 years of Sparkler in magazine form, to amazing commissions from some of our favorite creative partners. You won’t want to miss out!

And this final issue of our Summer of Sparkler promotion is another great one, in our humble opinion. We have the long-awaited and exciting start of Windrose Vol. 3–with daring escapes, and even more daring rescues! Welcome back, Windrose! :-D Plus, don’t forget to check out the Windrose Volume 2 ebook, which is now available! We also have new updates for Heart of Gold, Uncanny Valley HighSunshine BoyDecoy and Retrofit, Firebird, and…

We’re proud to welcome yet another new addition to the magazine: straight from the submissions pile and onto this month’s cover, the first installment of the drama-romance-sports comic “Null Point” from creator Amara Sherm! We’ve been dying to do a character-driven sports story for ages, and this one hits all the right buttons with a mighty backhand! Check it out. :-D

We’ve been busy behind the scenes, too! From new ebooks to bonus content to updating the book Kickstarters we ran earlier this year, we’ve been tackling our backlog and getting ready to launch into this new year of Sparkler–which begins right now, since this very issue is the start of Year 5 (and we wanted you to see what’s in store for 2017-2018). There are also a number of little upgrades we’ve been adding to the site, including a “newest page” button for comics instead of “newest chapter,” a change due to popular demand. Hooray! Our hard-working web techs are just some of the folks you’ll keep employed by helping to fund the Year 5 Kickstarter–Sparkler really takes a village to put together, and it’s a village that wants to get you sweet fiction all year long. We’re eager to keep the momentum going for the rest of 2017 and beyond!

XOXO,

The Sparkler Team



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

Happy April, Sparkler fans!

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

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

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

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

XOXO,

The Sparkler Team



March Madness!

Where did this month go?! Between conventions and travel and Kickstarters and production delays, it’s been a crazy March here at the Sparkler Offices (in all our varied locations). But we finally have our March issue ready…just in time for April!

This month we have a little blast from the past with Team KaiJu–we’ve got a shiny new ebook of their amazing “Inhabitant of Another Planet” debuting today, so in honor of that, we’ve got a re-release of their complete first story for Sparkler, “The Ring of Saturn,” which is connected to “Inhabitant.” Both stories are part of KaiJu’s epic latest work, Novae, which runs on its own site but also makes an appearance as a special preview in this issue! (“Saturn” is a great intro to what terrific storytellers KaiJu are, and even though it’s set during the early days of World War I, several hundred years after “Inhabitant,” you may see some familiar faces… ;-D)

We’ve also got new chapters of Magical How and Orange Junk, both of which feature some tough conversations (and aaaaall the feeeeels!!), plus a sequel light novel story to our first game project, Out of Sync, continuing after the best ending of the game! We love multimedia storytelling, in case you couldn’t tell. This issue also features our first-ever Cherry Bomb (17+) story to run in Sparkler proper–some tasty Tokyo Demons/Tokyo Ghosts for you all to enjoy! If you like what you see, there’s plenty more Cherry Bomb where that came from.

A million thanks again for your support on the Tokyo Demons Kickstarter last month. It was a great success, and voting on the new Stretch Goal merch will start soon. We’ll have more details on the rewards and deliveries for the Orange Junk Kickstarter this month as well–Heldrad is taking April off to work on the new bonus comics for Vol 2-3…and will be joining us at our Dealer’s Table at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May! Come say hi!!

And last but not least, we’re finally done with our submissions review–if you haven’t heard from us, definitely give us a ping. Now we’re talking with an exciting bunch of new talent, and we’re eager to share their work with you all in upcoming months!

Onward and upward!

XOXO,

The Sparkler Team



Feel the Love

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

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

Overseas

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

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

Tokyo Demons: The Complete Series Kickstarter

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

Come see the Sparkler booth at BishounenCon 2017!

XOXO,

The Sparkler Team



Welcome to 2017!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

XOXO,

The Sparkler Staff



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)



A breath of fresh air…

Sparkler Monthly Issue #038 (September 2016)Hello, Sparkler fans!

After a steamy, sultry summer full of new issues, Kickstarters, and other craziness, I’m really looking forward to fall’s cool breezes, crisp weather, and tasty seasonal beverages! And what better way to enjoy a seasonal beverage than while reviewing a fresh and exciting pile of submissions. :-D That’s right–for the month of September, Sparkler is open for submissions in both our comics and prose departments, and we can’t wait to see what you all come up with! Along with the refreshing change of seasons, we’re looking to refresh our line-up a bit, so this is a great opportunity for those of you who are looking to publish media online and would value editorial and logistical support. ;-) (All info at http://sparklermonthly.com/about/submissions/)

See Sparkler at Yaoicon 2016!And if you’re in San Francisco this weekend, come to YaoiCon–we’ll have a Sparkler table in the Dealer’s Room, packed with our books (and Sparkler Distro books!) along with a lot of fun merch. That includes some brand-new stuff that’s not on sale yet but we have special preview copies of, ho ho~.

We’ve got another great issue for you this month! Knights-Errant is back with exciting battles and intrigue, Orange Junk hits the “budding romance” button nice and hard, Nine Circles puts the “terror” in “time-share” (shut up, I know that’s not how it works…), we get new friends (?!) and scandalous backstory in Magical How?…and to wrap it all up, we’ve got a special standalone Skyglass story that takes place after the end of the novel!

Our Sparkler Podcast this month is about visual novels, the type of video game we just released with last month’s Out of Sync. We have special guest (and Sparkler staff member!) Pachi joining our roundtable of Jill, Lianne, and Leah to discuss Out of Sync, Japanese otome games, indie visual novels (and Ren’Py), dating sims you can buy in English on your smartphone…the whole shebang. You’ll probably learn something interesting and/or hilarious from this broad discussion, whether you’re an experienced gamer or total newbie.

So go outside with your favorite reading device and enjoy the wonderful fall air while indulging in the latest and greatest from Sparkler…knowing that soon, someone like YOU could be published here as well!

Sparkler Submissions Sept 2016!

XOXO,

-Lillian Diaz-Przybyl (comics editor)



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