A MONTHLY DIGITAL MAGAZINE OF COMICS, PROSE AND AUDIO

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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



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



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.



May the Fourth (er…Fifth…) Be With You!

(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!

<3

The Sparkler Team