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

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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 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)



Lettera + Witch’s Quarry ebooks, and a special poll!

Studio Kosen's Lettera: Volume 1 now available as an ebook!

Fans of Studio Kôsen (creators of Windrose), Lêttera Volume 1 finished serialization online, so now you can download it as an ebook for $5.99 (in FOUR ebook formats) to support the creators! And Volume 2 has already begun online, so you can jump there to read the continuation immediately. <3

WitchsQuarry_Vol1_coverIn addition, Jen Lee Quick’s classic webcomic Witch’s Quarry Volume 1 is now available in ebook format for the first time! This full-color, gender-bending fantasy by the creator of Off*Beat and Gatesmith is currently running new pages in Sparkler Monthly, where it’s almost completed Volume 2. Also available: the flirtatiously BL backstory Rogue x Knight, a 63-page Member Exclusive about Wes and Deshad released in Issue #024 (July 2015) of Sparkler Monthly.

Rogue x Knight was originally determined by vote back when Jen finished Volume 1, so now that Volume 2 is almost complete…she’s going to do another exciting backstory, and YOU get to choose the character! Will it be Vee, the stoic champion knight who was widowed in her youth, or Deia, the powerful Selkoi witch who shape-shifted to save her people? The readers will decide!

Poll has ended, and the winning story Sworn to Light is now running in Sparkler!

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