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

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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)



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.



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)



All Comics, all the Time!

Sparkler Monthly: Issue #029Happy 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 Quarryafter 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



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!



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!

WQ_Vol2backstory_pollv3



“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



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!



Issue #024–Summer heats up, and so does our Kickstarter!

sparklermag-july2015Hello all!

I’m done with Anime Expo and moving on to Comicon, but in-between, we have a great issue for you all! New chapters of Skyglass, Knights-Errant, and Orange Junk this month, plus HUGE changes in Tokyo Demons, and a whopping pile of Witch’s Quarry, to prepare for its new pages to start in August! Whew! Plus, our Membership Exclusive of the month is a 62-page side story to Witch’s Quarry–“Rogue x Knight” covers a bit of Wesyng’s backstory, or at least the part of it that overlaps with what Deshad was up to when he came up with his crazy prince-and-the-pauper scheme. It’s sexy and funny and dramatic, and you’re gonna love it.

So the other big news of the month, which technically started last month and is now continuing, is that we’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help fund Year 3 of the magazine. We’ve always had great support from our loyal fans, but we want to push for more stability, and maybe even be able to grow and expand a bit more in the coming year! Our creators have been incredibly generous with their offerings in the rewards tiers, and its their work that you’re funding with your precious Kickstarter dollars, so if you like what we do here and you want to see more of it, check it out, share it around, and think about donating! We can’t do this without you. <3 <3 <3

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Check out the Year 3 Kickstarter here!

Onward and upward!

Lillian (head of comics)



Issue #023, and Happy Birthday to ME!

sparklermag-june2015Hi Sparkler Fans,

Guess what?! It’s my birthday this month! And guess who just completely coincidentally made all my birthday wishes come true? Jen Lee Quick, that’s who! Returning to Off*Beat for a little encore, this month features a brand new chapter, set in the middle of Volume 3. Cut from the original release of the series, we thought it’d be fun to bring it out now, and give all you fans a taste of this little missing interlude. It’s so great to see the old gang back together again… I couldn’t have asked for a better present. *sob*  You get a little sample this week in Sparkler Monthly Issue #023, with the rest of the chapter going live on June 15th. Hooray!

In other Jen-Quick-related news, Gatesmith is going on a hiatus for a bit so that Jen can return to drawing Witch’s Quarry–we’ll be updating with new pages starting in August, so from now until then we’ll be blitzing through the chapters that were previously posted on Inkblazers and SmackJeeves, getting all you Sparkler readers caught up and ready for the latest and greatest! There’s lots of excitement in store, starting with a drakkun fight in Chapter 4! It’s awesome to see Vee in action doing knight-ly things…

And speaking of knights, things get a little rough for poor Wilfrid in Knights-Errant this month. Ouch…  Plus, the modeling competition reaches its final stage in Orange Junk, all hell breaks loose in Tokyo Demons, and the healing begins and gets very interrupted in Skyglass! Not to mention our Membership Exclusive of the month is a Sparkler School from Lianne, author and English-adaptation-expert extraordinaire about writing dialogue. You don’t want to miss it!

<3

The Sparkler Team



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



A little spring cleaning!

sparkler-april2015Hi, Sparkler fans! We hope you enjoy our delightfully orange color this month to celebrate Orange Junk‘s debut in our magazine with the all-new Chapter 8, available in this month’s issue! And welcome to the digital pages of our magazine, Heldrad. <3

We figured it was time to do a little spring cleaning around here. Hope you like the new look of the site as much as we all do! This is the last in a long string of site updates that have been in progress since the start of this year—but I think we’re finally done for a while! Whew!

While the front page obviously looks different, hopefully your overall experience continues to be as good, if not better than ever. A lot of the changes were done behind the scenes, as we streamline the back end of the site to make maintenance easier, but the most important thing is that you readers can find what you’re looking for, enjoy it, and then share it with others!

But probably the most exciting thing about this update is that we wound up with nearly 100 pages of new comics for you all to enjoy in Issue #021 this month! No wonder I’m so tired. :) Between the end of Gatesmith vol. 1, the magical finale of “Mahou Josei Chimaka,” a silly and sexy Dead Endings side story (our Membership Exclusive of the month), the hilarious new chapter of Orange Junk, plus ongoing updates of Lettera and Witch’s Quarry, we’ve got more amazing comics than you can shake a mop at! And that’s not counting the finale of Dusk in Kalevia on the light novels front, plus a new installment of The Cat Lover’s Circumstances!

The best part, too, is that now we’re in countdown mode to new pages from Knights-Errant as well! Our next issue goes up on May 4th, and in addition to our regular stellar line-up, we’ll be starting the new and ongoing serialization of Jennifer Doyle’s dark historical drama. I, for one, am super stoked!

Anyway, we’re gearing up to head into Year 3 of the magazine this summer, and we couldn’t have made it this far without your enthusiastic support. We hope that you continue to enjoy what our teams are creating, and that you help spread the word about Sparkler and the great work our artists and writers have been producing! This can’t happen without you all, and we’re eager to start Year 3 off strong!

-Lillian (head of comics)



Issue 21 coming soon…

Hello, beloved readers!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the last six weeks, as we announced the bulk of our spring comics line-up and released a ton of free back pages on our site. For those of you who haven’t been around, these are the series that have joined us in 2015:

Witch’s Quarry by Jen Lee Quick (formerly of Inkblazers)
Orange Junk by Heldrad (formerly of Inkblazers)
Lêttera by Kosen (formerly published in Spain)
Knights Errant by Jennifer Doyle (formerly of SmackJeeves)

We’re also preparing one more site redesign to better fit our new “freemium” model, in the hopes of making your Sparkler experience more enjoyable. Things have been changing drastically since January; thank you for your patience as we shift to a more comfortable fit!

We’ve decided to hold Issue 21 until the site redesign is ready, to avoid confusion. Issue 21 will be released next week. We’re aiming for Monday, but it may be a few days later if we run into last-minute technical issues. In addition, sparklermonthly.com may experience some downtime before Issue 21, but don’t be alarmed – it’s only us fixing this place up. :D

Thank you for your patience! We think you’ll enjoy the leaner, meaner Sparkler Monthly to usher in your spring. *fist-bump*



Marching ever onward!

It’s almost spring, Sparkler fans, even if it doesn’t much feel like it on the East Coast. (And we just had a freak hailstorm out here on the West Coast!) So here’s a fresh, exciting new issue for all of you to enjoy!

March brings us a fabulous new installment of Windrose along with the second chapter of our charming new audio drama, The Cat Lover’s Circumstances. Plus, things get steamy in Tokyo Demons, the revolution in Dusk in Kalevia comes to a head, and two young men work through a rough patch in their friendship in the fantastic short story “Shut In Shut Out,” from Lianne Sentar and Grey Is… webcomic artist dee Juusan! And our Member Exclusive bonus of the month will be a special Skyglass side story–look forward to it!

Anyway, I’ve always felt that March is a month of transitions and new beginnings. It’s been two months since we went paywall-free on the Sparkler archive, and in that time we’ve continued to think about ways to further improve your Sparkler experience (TM!). You’ll probably notice some subtle changes to the site over the next month, with some slightly bigger ones probably in April, but our general goal is to make your reading and sharing experience easier and more enjoyable. As always, fan feedback on that front is very welcome–we want to make Sparkler a fun place full of great content that’s easy to browse and hard to leave, and it’s useful for us to know what we can do to make your experience better!

The most obvious change is a simple tweak to our non-paywall release schedule–for comics, we’ll be updating alternating series daily. So from now on: on Tuesday and Thursday, one new page of Windrose and two new pages of Witch’s Quarry shall emerge from behind the paywall, and Mon/Wed/Fri, two new pages of “Shut In Shut Out” will be released. We’ll be overhauling our series pages over the course of the month to make each individual series easier to track in our new system; the great thing about a digital format is that if we don’t like how things are playing out, we can just keep fine-tuning. :-) And on that note…we’re close to some very big surprises in the comics department that should start to roll out this month, so stay tuned!

I think this is a particularly terrific issue all around, and I hope you have as much fun with our content this month as we’ve had putting it all together!

<3

The Sparkler Staff