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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!

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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.



March Madness!

Sparkler Monthly Issue #032 (March 2016)Hello hello!

It’s almost spring, and things are coming up roses here at Sparkler Headquarters. This month we’ve got a glorious new chapter of KaiJu’s historical masterpiece “Inhabitant of Another Planet,” a thrilling costume-and-intrigue addition to Windrose, the hilarious second chapter of a new school-club arc in Orange Junk, crazy timeline espionage in Tokyo Demons, plus an oblivious confession and a surprise sibling in Witch’s Quarry!

To top it off, we’ve got a new podcast this month featuring Jennifer Doyle (Knights-Errant), Lianne Sentar (Tokyo Demons), and me talking about why we love characters suffering in fiction, and our favorite stories that excel at it! Also featuring delightful teasers for future Knights-Errant and Tokyo Demons/Ghosts chapters. Just to get this out there, Doyle is a phenomenal person to do podcasts with, and what should have been an hour-long conversation ran nearly 3 hours. I don’t even know what the reasonable edit came out to be, but y’all definitely don’t want to miss this one.

But why Jennifer Doyle in particular for this podcast, aside from the fact that Knights-Errant is pretty demonstrably about making characters suffer for the greater good/i.e. reader entertainment & high-pitched shrieks? Well, we’ve got some good news about that series later this month, so just stay tuned! ;-)

Sparkler Memberships discounted for March!
The other madness of March is the resurgence of our ongoing Membership Drive! We’ve been letting it quietly simmer for a while, but it’s time to bring it back to the forefront–our goal has always been to make this magazine self-sustaining, and while we do get some revenue from site ads and books/merchandise, your membership dollars are the bulk of our income, and thus a significant pillar of our overall stability. If you like what we do here and want to see it continue…or even expand, your support is crucial to the process!

If you’ve been considering signing up for a membership, this is a great time to do so: since we’re discounting our memberships up to 20% off for the month of March! And in exchange, you’ll not only receive the satisfaction of supporting (paid) independent artists and creators, but you’ll get your pages much earlier than the free readers, downloadable issues, and bonus content.

Help us sow the seeds for the future by making a monthly contribution, and we’ll reward you with awesome comics, prose, and audio for years to come.

<3 <3 <3

-Lillian Diaz-Przybyl (comics editor)



Sweet Nothings…

Sparkler Monthly Issue #031 (Feb 2016)Happy almost-Valentine’s Day, Sparkler fans!

So the philosophy behind Sparkler has always been MAXIMUM FEELS, and since this is a month for romance, we’ve got some extra special feels for all of you! <3 <3 <3

This month we’re bringing you a fun one-shot project – originally announced during our Year 3 Kickstarter – that ought to set everyone’s hearts aflutter: it’s the Bad Chemistry Situation Audio Drama! If you’ve never heard of Drama or Situation/Talk CDs, our podcast this month will give you a terrific overview and intro, but the gist of it is you get to have a honey-voiced gentleman (or not-so-gentle-man) whisper directly into your waiting ear. In this particular scenario, you, the listener, are trying to pass your university chem class with your grumpy (but handsome!) lab partner. *swoon*

We’ve also got a new installment of Witch’s Quarry (with some blushing romantic hints of its own! Poor besotted Vee…), a new enemy and some very pastel new allies emerging in Magical How?, the start of a new arc in Orange Junk (featuring the Music Club!), and the wrap-up of Chapter 3 of Knights-Errant…with a surprising emotional twist, no less!

For those of you looking for some romantic new books to put on your bookshelf, we recently released the Mahou Josei Chimaka paperback (and adorable surprise keychain!) and the steamy Tokyo Demons Cherry Bomb Collection (also available as an ebook…that’s free for VIP members). And don’t forget the lovey-dovey team-ups we’ve been doing with other creators and publishers: you can find the TJ & Amal Complete Omnibus in the Sparkler Shop now (squee!), along with a special BOGO promotion with Fresh Romance digital magazine, where you can buy a starter bundle for Sparkler and get a starter bundle of Fresh Romance absolutely free! Perfect as a Valentine’s gift for the comic-lover in your life. And, now through February 21st, we’ve got a bunch of our sexiest, steamiest, and most feels-ful romances on sale for 20% off in the Sparkler Shop, including a new Cherry Bomb short story: this prologue to Dusk in Kalevia follows Demyan – an angelic embodiment of human fear – through a KGB mission during the lavender scare. *heavy breathing*

If you prefer Galentine’s to Valentine’s, we’ve got you covered there as well: join us for the next live session of the Sparkler RPG: ESPU on February 17th, where anyone is welcome to contribute to the game! And while you’re at it, check out the sexy official art by Angeline Mauri that was only posted a few weeks ago. <3

And who knows…there may be another surprise or two for Valentine’s Day itself, so stay tuned to sparklermonthly.com all this month for timely romantic surprises. :)

Love and Kisses,

Lillian (comics editor)



New Year, New Series!

Sparkler Monthly Issue #030 (Jan 2016)Hello, hello, Sparkler fans! How’s 2016 treating you so far? I can’t believe that this time last year we were just switching from a paywall model to the entire site being free to read, but I’m so glad we made that change…and look how we grew in 2015! We brought a bunch of existing series in under the Sparkler fold, and did a ton of new shorts and mini-series as well. What will 2016 have in store?

Well, to start: this month we’re kicking off the second book of Dead Endings, our fabulously snarky supernatural prose series! Cailen is finally giving in to guidance on how to deal with her ghost-seeing powers, with Gabriella’s vivacious help…but first, time for a round of drinks!

Plus, the terrific team KaiJu is sharing a stand-alone prequel to “The Ring of Saturn,” called “Inhabitant of Another Planet“–which also serves as a direct prequel to their new ongoing series that will kick off this spring! (Not through Sparkler, but we’ll be sure to link to it when it launches.) A three-chapter mini-series set in Paris in the late 1600s, “Inhabitant” has gratuitous costumes, another probable first-for-manga cameo of Christiaan Huygens (to go with Gustav Holst’s appearance in KaiJu’s “Saturn”), plus romance, heartbreak,and poor Raziol trying so hard to find love…

In another “first” for Sparkler, this is actually the first month where ALL of our comics are in full color! Along with “Inhabitant,” we also have new installments of Witch’s Quarry and Knights-Errant. Is this a trend people would like to see continue? We’ve generally aimed more for black and white material, since we have a heavy manga influence, but it’s really fun to see artists like Jen Lee Quick and KaiJu go back and forth between the two styles. Your voice can definitely influence where we go from here!

We’re rounding out our line-up this month with the return of Tokyo Demonswhich is getting close to the end of Book 3, astonishingly. And we’ve got a new podcast, where our team discusses our Sparkler RPG, along with our plans for the future of both the game system itself and the new campaign we’re running with it: ESPU!

Stay tuned for some great stuff this year, folks! We’re all super excited about it, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

~Lillian (comics editor)



Sparkler Shop Sale: use coupon code HOLIDAY

Use coupon code HOLIDAY to save!

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!

Brand-new products!

kaleviaebook_button kaleviapaperback_button  TJandAmal_button  gatesmith_button  sparkler_art_prints  Year1_button

Recent and restocked!

ke_keychains_buttonwindrose_button  deadendings_button  tddaki_button    lettera_button



Giving Thanks

Sparkler Monthly Issue #028 (Nov 2015)So November brings us American Thanksgiving (our Canadian contingent already celebrated this past month), and I’m definitely thankful for a lot of things this year!

I’m thankful that I get to work with such terrific people making comics–I wasn’t all that sorry to leave TOKYOPOP five years ago (I knew it was coming; see below), but I knew I’d miss the creative side of working with artists and writers on stories that I cared about, and I couldn’t be happier that Sparkler provided me the opportunity to keep doing just that. I’m thankful that we’ve seen Sparkler grow and flourish this year, adding new series and new talent, and that we succeeded in our Year 3 Kickstarter this summer! I’m thankful that fans are eager to read stories featuring diverse characters, created by people from diverse backgrounds–there are more voices in the comics world these days than ever before (and in media in general!), and while there’s still a great deal of work to be done, I think it’s only going to get better from here on out. And I’m thankful that I finally have enough time in my schedule to finish up print editions of a bunch of our titles. Whew! I’m sure you’re all ready to see those long-awaited pre-orders come to fruition this month. :-)

What sorts of things are you thankful for?

On the release side of things, this month we welcome a new series to the Sparkler line-up! The hilarious magical boys series Magical How? by Eurika Yusin Gho (eyugho) is joining the magazine, and we think you’re going to get a huge kick out of it. Thanks, Internet, for allowing us to find and work with awesome, creative people all over the globe!

We’ve also got new chapters of Orange Junk, Tokyo Demons, Knights-Errant, and the conclusion of Volume 2 of Witch’s Quarry! Which means it’s time to vote on whose backstory you’d like to see next. It’s Veolynn vs. Deia; so far the competition is pretty fierce!

And I’m on our Sparkler Podcast this month with Lianne, our prose editor/managing editor, and Lissa, our print and web designer extraordinaire, talking about our experiences working in the licensed manga industry. Speaking of things I’m grateful for, if TOKYOPOP hadn’t hired me straight out of college a decade ago, I certainly wouldn’t have had the career that I’ve enjoyed. I talk about this a bit in the podcast itself, but you never know what will lead to a big opportunity, and you never know where an opportunity will lead you in return. I’m grateful that I was open to the opportunity when it came, and I’m grateful that it worked out the way it has, even with the various bumps along the way.

Keep your eyes open and your ears peeled, folks–and I hope you, too, can be grateful about whatever good things come your way!



“Fall” in love with Sparkler!

Sparkler Monthly Issue #027 (Oct 2015)The seasons are changing, and thus the thoughts of the Sparkler staff turn to endings and beginning. We’re only in October, but it’s going to be 2016 before we know it, which means we’re busy setting up our schedule for the end of the year…and into the new year! As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, we look forward to finishing up the first half of Year 3 strong, and starting off 2016 with a bang, from new prose to new comics. We’re really looking forward to it, and we hope you are as well!

But first things first! This month we welcome back Knights-Errant from a brief hiatus–if any Kickstarter backers haven’t received Jen Doyle’s amazing desktop background yet, definitely let us know so we can hook you up! It’s the perfect way to bedeck an electronic device of your choice with a little autumnal splendor. :-) And it features the hapless Anton and Beppe, so it’s appropriate for this month’s installment as well. Hee hee!

Also this month: we have the attack of the witches in Witch’s Quarry, the devastating aftermath of major plot developments in Tokyo Demons, the requisite adorableness of The Cat Lover’s Circumstances, and the start of a new holiday arc for Orange Junk! With a mix of drama, comedy, and romance (with a few doses of body horror, just for kicks…), there’s something for everyone in the latest round of Sparkler series.

Our podcast for October is a discussion of creating female characters, and what we like to see from fictional ladies in our various media of choice. It’s always a fun topic, so we hope you get a kick out of it as well! And, as per our podcast last month, we’re hoping to start our new Sparkler RPG stream in October or November, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for that.

Speaking of role-playing (of sorts), Lillian had a great chat with a cosplayer at YaoiCon a few weeks ago–someone who had done a Knights-Errant cosplay with a friend. We would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see more Sparkler series cosplay, especially with Halloween right around the corner, so if you do come up with something you’d like to share, tag us on your social media platform of choice (Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr) and we’ll reply/reblog/retweet with many squeals of ecstasy! :-D

<3

The Sparkler Team



Yaoicon, Lettera, and the TDdaki!

Tokyo Demons dakimakura: SachiFor those of you coming to YaoiCon this weekend, come see the Sparkler table run by comics editor Lillian! She’ll have a ton of our paperbacks (including all three volumes of Off*Beat), free postcards, merch (including the new Knights-Errant keychains), and maybe a surprise or two. :3 And speaking of stuff you can get this weekend…the Tokyo Demons dakimakura is now officially on sale! This was a goal of our Membership Drive and was voted on by our readers – thank you so much for making this ridiculous product a reality!

Lettera_adv2In other news, we’re thrilled to announce that Lêttera (by Studio Kôsen, creators of Windrose) returned this week from its short hiatus! This sexy fantasy series is completely free to read right now, including the most recent pages. Things are really starting to heat up in the newest chapter, so what are you waiting for? Load up on Kôsen comics and have a lovely weekend!



Labor (Day) of Love

sparklermag-sept2015v3-forwebIt’s Labor Day in the U.S. and Canada, where our company is based, and so I wanted to celebrate by recognizing all the endless hard work and hours that our fantastic team puts in. From our web/graphics team of Lissa and Pachi who do everything from site design and coding fixes to helping put up new pages on time; to Becca, who handles pretty much all of the Sparkler Shop (on top of editing our audio dramas!!); to Leah and Cat, our amazing production and design assistants; to Jill, who gets everyone (who gets paid) paid when she’s not running the podcast or newsletter; our newest additions of Joseph and Hiveworks, who are boosting us with their incredible marketing prowess; and Lianne, who does basically everything else and then some… It’s a great crew of people we’ve assembled behind the scenes to keep Sparkler up and running, day after day, month after month, year after year. (Editor’s note: Let’s not forget Lillian, either, who’s the head of all our precious comics!)

And that’s not counting our wonderful and talented creators as well! Every one of you gives it your all every month, and it’s such a privilege to get to work with you and read the wonderful things you bring to life.

knightserrant_keychain_imagesAnd that brings us to our September issue (#026)! This month, Windrose returns with the explosive start of Volume 2, Skyglass reaches its incredible conclusion, Orange Junk is back from its one-month hiatus, we all get to enjoy a charming new installment of The Cat Lover’s Circumstances, and everyone girds themselves for battle in Witch’s Quarry! Our podcast this month is about Tabletop RPGs, and includes an announcement of Sparkler’s next gaming project. :D

Knights-Errant is taking a month off (as is Tokyo Demons), but we’ll have some fun guest comics going up in its absence, and you can comfort yourself by purchasing these fabulous Knights-Errant keychains, now available in the Sparkler Shop! Or, if you happen to be going to YaoiCon this month, you can buy them in person (from me, not Jenn, sadly) at the Sparkler table. Huzzah!

-Lillian (comics editor)



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!

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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!



UPDATE: Tokyo Demons body pillow voting: Final Round!

The incredible Rem is going to design a sexy Tokyo Demons bishonen dakimakura (NSFW link) for ages 16 and up. Yes, we’re doing a sexy body pillow case, because fujoshi. And it’s determined by vote!

Sachi’s outfit has been chosen: casual! Now vote in this final quickie poll by Saturday, Aug 22nd, 11:59 PM EST:

Follow on social media: #TDdaki (Twitter | Tumblr)

TDdaki_outfit

For reference, these are yukata:

yukata_ref

And this is (more or less) a Japanese police uniform:

police_gif

Thank you, Free! boys, for modeling these outfits in a wholly appropriate way.



UPDATE: Tokyo Demons body pillow voting: Round Three!

Update: Sachi has won #TDdaki Round Three!

sachi_dakivote_rem_tagged

See the FINAL round of voting: Sachi’s outfit!

The incredible Rem is going to design a sexy Tokyo Demons bishonen dakimakura (NSFW link) for ages 16 and up. Yes, we’re doing a sexy body pillow case, because fujoshi. And it’s determined by vote!

Kiyoshi won round one and Sachi won round two, putting them head-to-pretty-head in this third round. (The fourth round will be to determine the barely-actually-on outfit.) Rem did new illustrations to help you make your decision. :D

kiyoshi_dakivote_rem_taggedsachi_dakivote_rem_tagged

Follow on social media: #TDdaki (Twitter | Tumblr)

ROUND THREE

Kiyoshi vs Sachi

Voting will run until Friday, July 31st, 11:59 pm EST

TDdaki_graphics_kiyoshi2TDdaki_graphics_sachi1