Happy 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 Quarry, after 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
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!
Recent and restocked!
Now that we’re back from TCAF 2015, we’ve stocked the Sparkler Shop with our newest products! We have brand-spanking-new Ring of Saturn perfect-bound paperbacks (whee! XD), all of which were signed by KAIJU during their TCAF appearance. We also have Christy Lijewski‘s slick art book BLKBT; although we’re sorry to say that Dire Hearts is still on hiatus due to Christy’s health, she has an amazing backlist, and that art book is packed with her famously freaky-and-handsome dudes, among other things.
Also new in the shop by KAIJU: the complete Mahou Josei Chimaka ebook (featuring exclusive, brand-new chapter covers) and a pre-order for the Chimaka paperback, coming this July! We’re so excited for that one. <3 KAIJU has really been killing it lately, so we’re happy to have a giant shop update that’s almost entirely their stuff.
(I’m not just a manga nerd! I’m an all-around nerd! :-D )
Ah, I’m so excited about our May issue!! After folding the first 40 pages of Jennifer Doyle’s amazing political drama Knights-Errant into the magazine last month, we finally get to update with new pages!! I’m super psyched to be working with Jen, and even more psyched to bring you all the next phase of this fantastic story. And in honor of the new start, this month’s Member Exclusive is a behind-the-scenes podcast chat with me (and Becca) and Jen—listen in as we basically shoot the breeze for an hour, revealing both my internet lurker tendencies, and Jen and my respective overly-educated liberal arts backgrounds! Yesss…
But that’s not all we’ve got on the comics front. “For Peace” wraps up its mini-series run this month, with a lovely and charming conclusion (lady truckers are so sweet to each other!), and volume 1 of Windrose ends in a seriously epic, classic manga fashion! You’re going to love this amazing finish! Plus there’s a hilarious new installment of Orange Junk and the latest thrilling chapter of Skyglass.
So when do you get to read all this great stuff? Well, paid members can download either high-rez PDFs or ebook files of the full issue right away—not to mention get access to our Membership exclusive, which is the above-mentioned podcast with Jennifer Doyle. For folks reading for free, comics update either Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or Tuesday and Thursday, depending on the series. So you’ll get to read everything, it’ll just take a little patience!
The flip side is that this means we still have a bunch of amazing comics continuing from last month as well—from the eerie finale of the first volume of Gatesmith to the mind-blowing magical battle of Mahou Josei Chimaka, our ongoing comics are not to be missed! And that’s not even counting Lettera and Witch’s Quarry which are still going strong!
In other news, most of the Sparkler team, plus several Sparkler creators will all be at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival the weekend of May 10th and 11th—stop by, say hi, and pick up some Sparkler goodies, including print copies of The Ring of Saturn, hot off the presses! Exciting!!
In other, other news, we passed 200 members last week in our Membership Drive, but we’re still a long way from where we want to be in order to keep the company stable, let alone growing—the thing we need the most now, though, is just more awareness. So if you like what we do here, recommend us to a friend! Tell them about your favorite comic, get them to try out one of our awesome audio dramas, sit on them and read them the first chapter of one of our fabulous prose series… We hope they’ll find something that they love about Sparkler too, and then pass it along to the next future fan!
The Sparkler Team
Happy Thanksgiving! With our release of Maiden and the Fish this week, a beautiful short story by new Sparkler additions Lydia Mackenzie (author) and Phong Anh (illustrator), and the temporary lowering of the paywall for Off*Beat Chapter 15, now all chapters in this month’s issue are available free to read! That won’t last forever, so get your goodies while you can.
And now that it’s technically past midnight, we’re in the loved-and-hated BLACK FRIDAY. All products in our shop (except for subscriptions) are 15% off until 11:59 PM EST on Monday if you use the coupon code blackfriday2013 at checkout. Stay home from the crowds and shop in your pjs with us! We also added a special new product: an 11″ x 17″ print of Phong Anh’s beautiful illustration for The Maiden and the Fish, which was also modified for Issue #004’s cover. For you non-subscribers, buying that print will also get you an immediate free download of the short story in ebook format (pdf, epub, and mobi) so you can download that gorgeous short onto your devices. LOVELY.
For those who want to do Sparkler holiday shopping but can’t take part this weekend, no worries – we’ll offer an (admittedly smaller) discount on our store starting Tuesday, and that will run until December 31st. All these sales are to help fund our 2014 line-up, which is shaping up to be awesome. Thanks for your support!
Edit: Forgot to mention that now you can get the Off*Beat Vol 1, Off*Beat Vol 2, and Tokyo Demons Vol 1 paperbacks at Amazon as well (those links will bring you there). And they have their own deals there, too. Nice!