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The Final Issue

To our dearest readers and supporters,

Wow. We originally planned to release this final issue of the magazine back in the summer or fall of 2019, after we took a few weeks off from our hectic Sparkler schedules to focus on our own lives for a bit. But a few weeks turned into a month, then into several months, then into more than a year…and now we’re here, in late November of 2020, in a world very different from the one we left in Issue #071.

First of all, we’re truly sorry we disappeared into the mist for so long. As anyone who runs a small business will tell you, work like this really devours your life while you’re running it. When we took a break, we started addressing overdue health issues, we moved our homes (multiple times!), we looked for new jobs, and we restarted very neglected social lives, while the ghost of Sparkler’s unfinished projects turned into the Impossible Task. We left a lot of things undone over the years, and now we would never do them at all, which meant we broke promises with the public that even doing the final issue would never fix. In addition to that, we were exhausted, the money was gone, and our dreams with this company had “ended,” so to speak. It’s not unusual at all for a small publishing house to shut down, and you all were so supportive when we announced our closing, but all these factors–and others–made that last batch of work incredibly hard to start, and even harder to finish. There’s a reason why so many companies shut down suddenly and don’t invest the time, money, and emotion to give things proper closure. It’s hard. Then a global pandemic hit everyone in March 2020, and we wondered if this was the sign that we would never finish this final issue at all.

But we found a way. Sparkler, its creators, and its readers deserve some kind of a send-off, and we feel so much better getting this out into the world. Even if you’re not reading this, your support meant everything to us over the last seven years, and we’re sorry we made you wait so long for a proper goodbye. We’re also sorry for the incomplete projects and the unfulfilled goals, the falling out of touch and the chaotic messiness of the editors’ room. We’re so, so thankful you gave this dream a chance. We don’t regret doing Sparkler, even though it took so much from us and ended in a difficult way. This was worth it. Truly. We can’t wait to see the new publishing houses, the new art, and the new dreams that come from all of you, whether you take inspiration from what we did or simply learn from our failures. You can always leave the publishing industry better than you found it, so we challenge you to do so, whether as a consumer, creator, or innovator!

And we hope you follow our creators in their next endeavors, if you haven’t already. Many of them have already found new homes for their comics or new projects to pour their talents into–we’ve included some links to those in this issue! But when in doubt, just do a search for the creator who made your favorite Sparkler project, because so many of them have been putting out amazing content and sharing it with the world.

The chapters included in this issue are a mix of things completed over a year ago and things we finished a matter of days ago. We hope you enjoy them! And now that we’re (FINALLY!) fulfilling the Before You Go Kickstarter, we have a limited number of leftover paperbacks and merch items for sale in the Sparkler Shop. If you want to own a copy of that, be sure to get it, because we’ll be closing our home website at the end of 2020.

Thank you for everything, folks. We can’t wait to see what everyone does next. <3


The Sparkler Staff