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Sparkler in the Spotlight

Hi, Sparkler fans!

This month, our cover features Orange Junk‘s newest and most famous character, Aimeé! When a real-live celebrity joins their class and their friend group, what are attention-hating Bruce and caustic, difficult Miles to do? Will the entire school be thrown into chaos as they try to snap a pic? Will Jack ever regain control of his class?

Firebird tackles the darker side of a career in music or dance as injuries plague the main characters, and the ladies of Windrose and Life’s a Witch both seek a different kind of attention, as Danielle gets caught in a high-stakes stand-off, and Antonia becomes the World’s Most Difficult Customer to cause a distraction at just the right moment. And in Sunshine Boy, awkward, quiet Jo faces the kind of attention he dreads more than anything…when Kurt gets ahold of some embarrassing old photos!

And right now, we’re looking for some new comics to put in the Sparkler spotlight–open submissions close TOMORROW, on November 30th! Comic artists, remember to send in your pitches by 11:59 PST on Friday night!

This issue, we’re also putting a spotlight on our incredible, generous Kickstarter supporters, whose names you can see listed inside the issue itself. Thank you all so much for your support–Sparkler wouldn’t exist at all without you!


The Sparkler Staff

Boo! Say hello to the new issue of Spookler–er, SPARKLER!

Get comfy in your favorite costume and pull up a big bowl of candy, because it’s time for our boo-tiful new Halloween issue!

We always love doing a fun Halloween cover, and this year, we’re featuring cosplay AND a crossover from Moosopp’s two comic series: Sunshine Boy and A Call Away from Home! The cover art is manipulating time and space to have both Kelly and his granduncle Dahlton appear together at those ages. SPOOKY! But they pair perfectly, especially since we’ve got a brand-new chapter from both series running in this issue.

We’ve got more treats than that: Orange Junk is back this month, for more Miles and more mayhem! And speaking of mayhem, our RPG play podcast Life’s a Witch so Roll a Die continues from where we last left off, with our heroes killing a bunch of bad dudes. (Now to find out what the bad dudes were after!) We also have the final section of the second Null Point story running this month…with Nami and Reham talking through their issues while spending some quality time together. Hubba hubba!

Since this is a spooktacular month, our VIP and Sparkler Ship members are getting some scary awesome books on top of the issue. All VIP members are getting two free ebooks: the self-contained short DNA-RW by Sarah “Neila” Elkins and Ru Xu–the sci-fi story of a mutating girl chasing a serial killer(!)–and Gatesmith Volume 1, Jen Lee Quick‘s supernatural Western horror that will creep you out in all the best ways. (And Gatesmith was the series she started right after Off*Beat–talk about creative range!) Sparkler Ships members get those ebooks plus the paperback Dead Endingsthe snarky NYC ghost story/mystery by Jessica Chavez and Irene Flores. It’s one of our classic light novels, and more is coming as the sequel continues serializing this year.

Thank you so, so much for helping our Year 6 Kickstarter succeed! Sparkler’s got a ton of cool stuff planned for this year, and now we can do it, thanks to you. <3 If you pledged on the Kickstarter, you’ll be getting surveys soon so you can claim your rewards and tell us how you want to be credited in the Thank You page in an upcoming issue. And now we can run full-speed into our first Year 6 project…

We just opened submissions again! We’re looking for new comics for the site and the magazine, and we’re happy to consider comics that are already running elsewhere online. Submissions close at the end of November and require completed pages for us to look at, so check out the details at the link! We hope to feature YOU in a future issue. <3

Happy Halloween~

Sparkler Gets Dramatic

Hey, Sparkler fans! We hope you’re all safe and sound after an intense start to hurricane season.

This month, we’ve got some serious family drama in both Magical How and Windrose–the kind that might end with a body count. The boys’ dads engage in some very awkward bonding in Sunshine Boy, and shit hits the fan, both literally and figuratively, in our RPG podcast Life’s a Witch so Roll a Die. And last but not least, in this month’s cover series Never Heroes, our main characters meet up again after twenty years…and find out that the problems they left behind them never really went away.

This is the first month of our new VIP and Sparkler Ships system! That means that all VIP members get a free ebook download: this month’s VIP ebook is Mahou Josei Chimaka, KaiJu’s loving send-up of the Magical Girl genre. Sparkler Ships members get the VIP ebook, and also a copy of our newest paperback, Magical How?!, shipped right to them! Since Sparkler Ships is currently only available through the Kickstarter, the September books will be held until the Kickstarter ends…but Sparkler Ships memberships will be available soon on the site.

You can also buy the Magical How?! paperback through the Sparkler store!

And finally, the Sparkler Kickstarter is running right now, and we still have a ways to go to reach our goal. If you like the work we do, please consider pledging to the Kickstarter, and let your friends know about it, too! We’ve got so many exciting plans for this coming year, but we can’t make them happen without support from our readers.

See you next month! <3


Sparkler Staff

Year 6 begins with a Kickstarter and a new series!

It’s that special time again, Sparkler fans! After completing five (!) full years of this digital magazine–60 issues in all–we’re here to kick off Year 6 with an exciting Kickstarter! \^o^/

Like the last several years, the Sparkler Monthly Magazine: Year 6 Kickstarter just launched and will be running for about a month–this is how we sell enough memberships, ebooks, paperbacks, and other merch in one big fundraiser to ensure we can keep this place up and running. We were able to publish Years 3, 4, and 5 of the magazine thanks to successful Kickstarters, and we know this is when a lot of you buy your membership for the year, so we really appreciate your support! We have brand-new rewards this year for you to check out, including a year-long Sparkler Ships membership where you get monthly paperbacks in addition to issues and ebooks, and a top tier called SPARKLER SUPERNOVA that is truly ridiculous, we hope you enjoy it. :-D

And to whet your appetite for Year 6, we’re launching this first issue now, while the Kickstarter runs! Prepare for some great Daddy + Daddy time in the new chapter of Sunshine Boy, romance turning into Real Talk in more Null Point, and family secrets–tied to Miles–in the newest chapter of Orange Junk. The finale of The Jackson Lunta Snow Dance Song is running alongside those wonderful comics, and although we’re sad to say good-bye to our favorite queer-supernatural-hockey-boys novella, the finale is fantastic, so totally worth it. We’re also very excited to welcome back Tacto after having a baby, and she’s got a blazing new chapter of her comic Firebird in this issue for you, too!

After last month’s intro and teaser, this month also launches Chapter 1 of our brand-new RPG Play Podcast Life’s a Witch, So Roll a Die! This is an edited/polished audio series of a pencil-and-paper RPG, run by an all-women play group and illustrated by the fantastic artist Angeline Mauri (who also plays the PC Rosiel). It’s about intern witches in a thinly veiled version of Florence, Italy during the Renaissance. Even better, Chapter 2 is coming out later this month, as part of our Kickstarter promotion!

Thank you for a great five years together, readers. Let’s make it six! <3


Aliens and Witches and Erotica, Oh My!

Hey Sparkler fans!

We’re very sorry for the late issue this month–an unexpected illness in our (very small) staff threw us all off pretty badly, but we’re all back at work and ready to give you the fabulous issue six-oh!

We have some extremely exciting new stuff coming this month! First off, we have a brand new series by Moosopp, the creator of Sunshine Boy! A Call Away From Home is a love story between a conspiracy theorist and a mysterious guy…whose weirdness might just be…alien in nature? Moosopp’s incredible character writing and spot-on humor is out in full force in this brand new series that he’ll be running alongside Sunshine Boy!

Second, the Sparkler Podcast is changing up for year six! We’re so excited to present to you: Life’s A Witch, So Roll A Die! This is an actual-play gaming podcast run by Tokyo Demons/Sparkler editor Lianne Sentar, with players Rebecca (Sparkler Managing Editor/audio), Angi Mauri (artist of Devil’s Cake, many small Sparkler/Cherry Bomb projects), and Moonklutz (/report podcast). This month, we’ve got an intro podcast with more information about the game and story, and going forward we’ll have a new part of the story every month with the Sparkler issue.

We’ve got exciting new chapters of Never Heroes, Magical How and Windrose, plus a bonus Tokyo Demons story to tide everyone over until the sequel Tokyo Ghosts starts. Thank you all for bearing with us this month– and we’ve got more announcements coming soon!

Keep Cool This Summer with Magical Hockey Boys

Hi Sparkler fans!

Welcome to our June issue, inappropriately decked out in icy purple! Chapter 3 of Emily Compton’s The Jackson Lunta Snow Dance Song was extremely soothing during the heat wave with its descriptions of cold weather and cold hands–and we just couldn’t resist using Onorobo’s lovely illustration as a cover.

There are changes coming to Sparkler as we approach year six, which is the topic of this month’s podcast–hear the heads of Sparkler hint frustratingly at things we can’t announce yet, and gush about our staff and fans!

After a long delay (and a new baby!), Dead Leads is back with a new chapter and a terrifying twist to its mystery. Orange Junk and Sunshine Boy both deal with family–Lou and her friends have to face the past in Orange Junk, and the past is causing conflict in the present Kelly household in Sunshine Boy. And finally, you can read the last emotional moment of Heart of Gold book one–and preorder a copy of this beautiful paperback through the Heart of Gold Kickstarter (ending on Saturday the 9th!)

And please fill out our June survey for a chance to win a free paperback (shipped anywhere in the world!)

We all hope you enjoy the new issue!


The Sparkler Staff

May the 7th Be With You!

And also with YOU, Sparkler Fans!

Welcome to our May issue! We’ve got five fantastic new comics installments this month, from more of Never Heroes (the revamped Yellow Hearts) to Magical How?!, to a new installment of Windrose. It’s everything from hugely original fantasy to dark magic to swashbuckling romance, and a whole lot more in between!

But we’re particularly excited to welcome some delicious slice-of-life back to the magazine as Amara Sherm returns with more Null Point! We loved the short story she did for us earlier this year, and are psyched that she was psyched to bring more of it to Sparkler. Friendship, romance and freelance work are all complicated… But Reham is determined to figure it all out!

Meanwhile, Grey gets in trouble in Sunshine Boy, Dani and company make their escape back to the high seas in Windrose, Levi and Rowan make it back back to their old stomping grounds, and things get dark in Magical How…!

For our podcast of the month, Sparkler co-founders Lianne, Becca and Lillian talk about their decades of experience on the con scene, as pros in various contexts (retail, publishers large and small, etc.) and as fans! Learn how cons have changed over the years, and get tips on how to survive the con experience–and hopefully enjoy yourself at the same time.

And speaking of cons, please stop by and say hi if you’re up in Toronto for TCAF this year! A whole bunch of the Sparkler crew will be there, and we always love talking to our readers.

One last thing: we’re doing a new survey for May. Answer a few questions for a chance to win a free Sparkler paperback, shipped anywhere in the world!


The Sparkler Team

Sensational Springtime!

Hi Sparkler fans!

Welcome to our April issue. Ironically, since it’s April and spring has pretty much sprung everywhere except the East Coast where it continues to be unseasonably snow-centric, we have the second terrific installment of Emily Compton and Onorobo’s hockey light novel! Nothing says spring like handsome boys on ice!

This month, the battle also continues in Magical How, as Hal tries to protect the helpless Gabe, a new chapter of drama unfolds in Orange Junk as Miles and Louise try to fix the bad blood between their families, things get a little more rambunctious in Sunshine Boy as Grey picks a fight with a classmate, and the strained glances get even more fraught in Heart of Gold!

We also have a terrific podcast this month, featuring Orange Junk creator Heldrad and Tokyo Demons creator/Sparkler staff Lianne talking about how they write serialized stories.

And if you’ve missed out on our Sparkler Ships special-edition boxes, you’ve still got a chance to get in on the action! Buy all three here, or grab April’s Mystery Box on its own here!

And please take a moment to fill out our Spring Sparkler Survey! We’ll be running a raffle from everyone who takes the survey, and two lucky winners will get a free paperback shipped to them! Let us know what you think about Sparkler and how you think we should expand in the future!

Thanks, everybody! We hope you enjoy Sparkler issue #057!


March on up!

Hello hello, Sparkler fans!

Welcome to our new issue! We’ve got a really special one this month, including the re-launch of Yellow Hearts, complete with a new title! We hope you enjoy Never Heroes as much as we have been during its renewal–Keezy has done an amazing job updating the art and you can see how much she’s grown as a talent. As a bonus, we have the special Onaskellis zine to share with you all!

We’ve also got a special treat from the fantastic creative minds of Emily Compton and Onorobo, The Jackson Lunta Snow Dance Song! They teamed up on the epic novel, “Dusk in Kalevia,” which is a treat, if you haven’t checked it out yet, but now they’ve moved on from Soviet angels to ice hockey romance! We’re so excited!

And speaking of Dusk in Kalevia, it’s the centerpiece of our “Sparkler Ships” box this month. The “Angelic Box” includes the novel, and a variety of terrific bonus stuff along with it, including some postcard prints of Onorobo’s fabulous art, and a download of the 18+ side story The Raven of Leningrad. We were super happy with last month’s Magical Box, so next up in April is the “Mystery Box,” if you’re interested in signing up for all three! Treat yourself. ;-) And Sparkler Members get a discount!

That’s not all that we’ve got going on, either–this month also features new installments of Orange Junk (Bruce runs into some academic trouble!) and Windrose (our heroes run into some musketeer trouble!) which you’re sure to enjoy. Windrose is getting close to its finale, so this is a great time to re-read the series or give it a shot if you haven’t checked it out previously.

There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes on the site, as well, which may not be super obvious, but that will hopefully make your Sparkler experience more seamless and enjoyable. The most exciting piece of which, to me at least, is that you can now sign up to get email updates when new pages come out from your favorite comics! We already post updates on our social media outlets, but there’s nothing like the thrill of when an email pops up telling you that there’s a new page of Knights-Errant or Magical How out. ;-D

Plus, last but not least, Eyugho and our editors discuss the series we all love to hate, and hate to love in this month’s podcast!

Onward and upward!


The Sparkler Team

We *heart* our readers!

Happy (slightly belated) Valentine’s Day, Sparkler fans! Here at Sparkler, we think Valentine’s Day lasts all month–just the good parts where you love everyone and eat lots of candy, though!

We’ve got a great issue for you this month, starting from the cover, featuring art from a special side-story spin-off game from last year’s Out of Sync. It’s a little Valentine’s treat for all our Sparkler members, courtesy of our fabulous friends at Paper Star Studios. The Sparkler staff includes many gamers of all stripes, but we’ve got a particular soft spot for visual novels, and were thrilled to get to share Out of Sync: Crescendo  with all of you! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Also in this issue, magical battle breaks out and secrets start to be revealed in Magical How?, a successful coffee date triggers some relationship progress (and lots of feels) in Firebird, Kelly and Grey deal with their friendship struggles in Sunshine Boy, and things get even more mysterious in Heart of Gold. If we’ve done our jobs right, there’s lots of good stuff to keep your hearts racing all month!

And to top it off, if you hadn’t heard, we’ve started a new trial program, “Sparkler Ships,” which will send you a monthly box of books, treats and Sparkler goodies to subscribers! This month our featured book is the delightful Mahou Josei Chimaka, a magical-girl-grown-up romance from team Kaiju, creators of Ring of Saturn, Inhabitant of Another Planet, and now the ongoing Novae. If you like getting fun stuff in the mail every month, sign up today!

Speaking of Kaiju, they joined us for our podcast this month along with Tacto, the creator of Firebird, to talk about how to plan comics! If you’re a creator yourself, aspiring, already putting pencil to paper, or just a curious fan, this is definitely one you don’t want to miss.


The Sparkler Team




Ringing in the New Year right!

Hi Sparkler Fans!

2018 starts with a bang with the finale of BL post-apocalyptic adventure Decoy and Retrofit! If you haven’t been following along with that one, we seriously recommend it–let’s just say the ending had the staff freaking out a bit over the plot and character twists.

And of course, that’s not all! In issue #054, Sunshine Boy goes to school and Heart of Gold takes you to church. Magical How! puts fan-favorite Booker through hell, and in Orange Junk, sexual tension turns to romance–and the awkward aftermath.

The Sunshine Boy Kickstarter is in stretch goal territory! We’re working hard on Magical How! volume 1, which will be heading out to the printer soon, too! We’ve got a whole roster of print books and ebooks coming out in the next few months, so keep an eye on our social media for details!

We’ve got some great stuff planned this year–we can’t wait to show you all! Thank you for all your support, and we hope you have a wonderful year!

Loose Ends and New Beginnings

Hello, Sparkler Fans!

Welcome to the final Sparkler issue in 2017! All of us behind the scenes at the Sparkler office are busy wrapping up various odds and ends from this past year, to clear our plate for an exciting 2018! Orange Junk vols. 2 & 3 are at the printer, Magical How! is getting set to go to the printer, there’s fun stuff happening on the Tokyo Demons front, and our Sparkler holiday sale is still going on for another few weeks, so you can pick up ebooks, print books, or merch for your female-gaze-loving friends and family (or maybe a little treat for yourself!) And the Sunshine Boy Kickstarter will be launching the day after Christmas!

Our December issue features a delightful double-shot of Sunshine Boy–including a future story, just to whet your appetites for more! Plus we have new installments of Tacto’s marvelous ballet drama, “Firebird,” a literal cliffhanger as we head for the final arc of Windrose, and the next eerily beautiful chapter of the amazing Heart of Gold, and a brand-new podcast about character design featuring eyugho of Magical How! and Capo of Out of Sync and the upcoming VN Cat House, which all of you aspiring artists out there should definitely check out!

To be honest, it’s been a hell of a year on a number of fronts, but I continue to be supremely proud of the wonderful stories and art that the Sparkler team of creators brings to us each month. It’s an honor to get to work with the kind of people whose work can make readers laugh, cry, or be inspired, and it’s even more important when times are hard. I’d like to celebrate the labor of love that everyone has put into Sparkler over the years, and this year in particular, and I look forward to where 2018 takes us all!


The Sparkler Staff

Sparkler Shop Sale 2017: use coupon code HOLIDAY

Even if Cyber Monday’s over, use the coupon code HOLIDAY in the Sparkler Shop to get 10% off all* purchases in your cart until December 31st, 11:59 pm EST! Includes Gift Memberships you can use yourself!

*The only items excluded are the following Distro creators: Oh my! Comics by Alisha Jade, Princess of Tennis, and BLKBT.

New items!

Warm Your Heart with Sparkler

Hello, Sparkler fans!

The clocks have turned back, the days grow shorter, and the nights grow colder, but things are always warm and bustling here at the Sparkler Offices. And this month we’ve got our usual variety of great stories to ignite and inspire! With five new installments of some of your favorite serialized comics, a new short story, and a particularly timely podcast, we’ll warm you up with some sweet, surprising, and sensational stuff this month!

Here’s some of what we have in store: Stunning secrets are revealed in Knights-Errant, a long-awaited romance finally takes flight in Orange Junk, see a terrifying glimpse of the past in Yellow Hearts, a kidnapping and ransom stir things up in Magical How, Kelly’s family isn’t all sunshine in Sunshine Boy, and we have a new short story about a woman trying to reclaim some High School romance (the worst idea, of course): The Get-Together! Plus, our podcast of the month, with Magical How creator Eyugho, goes into the highs and lows of the shoujo genre…if you’re secretly waiting for some hot person to give you their umbrella before running off into the rain (or if you think the whole umbrella thing is an unforgivable cliche), this podcast is for you.

The ebook of Amara Sherm’s sports drama Null Point is available now in the Sparkler Shop–if you want some cool art, adorable tennis players, and one dude named Cairo who is just SO IRRITATING that you want to scream at the main character, “just ditch that guy already, he’s the worst!”, you should definitely check it out!

And we’re getting revved up for an exciting holiday season at Sparkler, so stay tuned this month for new announcements, offers, and exciting opportunities! We’re busy behind the scenes getting lots of goodies ready over the next few months, and we can’t wait for you to get your hot little hands on them.


The Sparkler Team

A spooktacular new issue with Halloween swag!

BOO! Have we got some October treats for you, Sparkler readers! :-D

To continue our annual tradition of Halloween covers (see past years here: Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, and Year 4), Keezy Young has given us a scarily charming Yellow Hearts cover to celebrate a new chapter of the comic this month. Even better: if you like this cover, it’s available as an 11 x 17 print RIGHT NOW at the Hivemill!

If you really want to treat yourself this Halloween, we’re debuting another Sparkler print in Hivemill today: last year’s Orange Junk “masquerade” costume cover by Heldrad is now available, but as a full-color print in the 11 x 17 size, too! Get a little Sparkler art for your wall this October to cast a spell over you all year. <3

Today’s Halloween issue is packed with 100% comic updates, for series both new and old: things turn scary for Gabe in Magical How when he wants to patch things up with Booker but a mysterious hottie stands in his way, Luca tries to deal with the darkness in his heart in a spooky cliff inn in Firebird, Max is faced with a (literally) cursed locker in Uncanny Valley High, and Nami must deal with the most terrifying thing of all in the conclusion of Null Point: clawing through her introversion to confront an inconsiderate friend! EEEEEEK! On top of all that, the Sparkler podcast this month features a discussion on Female Gaze erotica with special guests Onorobo from Dusk in Kalevia and Starfighter: Eclipse and writer Moonklutz from the podcast /report and the world of fanfiction…and it largely centers on how ladies wanna bone monsters and ghosts. ;-D

You’ll also see a thank-you page included in this issue, listing all you wonderful backers who funded this year of the magazine in the Year 5 Kickstarter. <3 If you pledged for a magazine tier, check your inbox–an email directing you to your membership awaits, which should now be fully operational on our site. But if you have any trouble, just email store@chromaticpress.com and we’ll help you out.

Have a hauntingly good time with the new issue, folks! And Happy Halloween!


The Witches of Sparkler

Starting off Year 5 right!

Hello, Sparkler readers!

We did it! All thanks to you, our fans! Our Year 5 Kickstarter was a resounding success, and we are pleased to officially bring you the first issue after its completion.

And what an issue it is! The excitement builds as there’s a new puzzle to be solved in Windrose (vol. 2 now available in ebook form!), the tension ramps up in a big way between Oz and Wil in Knights-Errant, we get more tales of high-school woe in Magical How, while high school in Orange Junk balances romantic anxiety with hope for the future, and secrets are starting to be revealed in Decoy & Retrofit! And of course, Sunshine Boy is as charming as ever–A breath of adorable fresh air in the midst of all the angst and drama… we’re so happy to have brought it into our lineup…

Our podcast for the month features three of the Sparkler founders (Lillian, Lianne & Rebecca) talking about trends in how we discuss media, when critique becomes hyper-criticism, and the balance between allowing everyone’s voice to be heard, and discouraging hateful, hurtful behavior. It gets a little political and even a little heated, but that just makes for good podcasting, right? Or something like that…?

And in other news, the October issue is going to be coming pretty quickly on the heels of our September one, so look forward to an update in just a few weeks. We’ve got such a wealth of series running now that we honestly feel a little spoiled! There’s no time to rest on our laurels, though–we’re busy putting together print releases for a number of our titles, and we’ll keep the updated stream of ebooks flowing as well.

Thanks as always for your feedback, support and enthusiasm! We literally wouldn’t be here today if not for all of you!


The Sparkler Team

It’s the Final Countdown!

Hello hello, Sparkler Fans!

This is it–the final week of our Year 5 Kickstarter, and to be honest, it’s going to be a nail-biter…

We’ve got cool plans for Year 5, and we’re really excited about our expanded line-up, but we can’t continue without your help! We pay all our creators for their pages that run in the magazine, and the additional costs of staffing, servers, and maintenance do add up. If you haven’t had the chance to check out our Kickstarter yet, it’s not too late! If you’ve already donated, please consider sharing with like-minded friends who love comics, light novels, games, and the Female Gaze. <3 We’ve still got some great rewards tiers available, from ebooks and paperbacks, to being able to read all 5 years of Sparkler in magazine form, to amazing commissions from some of our favorite creative partners. You won’t want to miss out!

And this final issue of our Summer of Sparkler promotion is another great one, in our humble opinion. We have the long-awaited and exciting start of Windrose Vol. 3–with daring escapes, and even more daring rescues! Welcome back, Windrose! :-D Plus, don’t forget to check out the Windrose Volume 2 ebook, which is now available! We also have new updates for Heart of Gold, Uncanny Valley HighSunshine BoyDecoy and Retrofit, Firebird, and…

We’re proud to welcome yet another new addition to the magazine: straight from the submissions pile and onto this month’s cover, the first installment of the drama-romance-sports comic “Null Point” from creator Amara Sherm! We’ve been dying to do a character-driven sports story for ages, and this one hits all the right buttons with a mighty backhand! Check it out. :-D

We’ve been busy behind the scenes, too! From new ebooks to bonus content to updating the book Kickstarters we ran earlier this year, we’ve been tackling our backlog and getting ready to launch into this new year of Sparkler–which begins right now, since this very issue is the start of Year 5 (and we wanted you to see what’s in store for 2017-2018). There are also a number of little upgrades we’ve been adding to the site, including a “newest page” button for comics instead of “newest chapter,” a change due to popular demand. Hooray! Our hard-working web techs are just some of the folks you’ll keep employed by helping to fund the Year 5 Kickstarter–Sparkler really takes a village to put together, and it’s a village that wants to get you sweet fiction all year long. We’re eager to keep the momentum going for the rest of 2017 and beyond!


The Sparkler Team

Sizzle It Up With Sparkler!

Hello, Sparkler fans!

Welcome to the hottest part of the Summer of Sparkler. :-D We’ve got yet another great debut this month: the start of Tacto’s fantastical ballet-piano romance “Firebird”! We’ve wanted to work with Tacto for ages (particularly because she’s done amazing work with Cherry Bomb side stories), and we’re thrilled to finally get the chance, especially on such an innovative and exciting project. We hope you love it as much as we do!

And that goes along with new installments of Orange Junk (new careers and cute phone chats!), Knights-Errant (featuring a particularly perfect mix of emotional torture and drunken flirting!), Magical How? (scary fairies!), Yellow Hearts (magic and memories!), Sunshine Boy (drama and trauma?!), and Uncanny Valley High ([virtual] teenage hijinks continue!). Plus we’ve got a podcast about NaNoWriMo and game jams, and how having a deadline and a community can help you reach your creative goals. It’s a whopping seven new comic chapters and the podcast in this special (giant) issue, continuing the jam-packed Summer of Sparkler!

And speaking of goals, it’s that time of year again…where we’re launching a new Kickstarter to fund Year 5 of Sparkler Monthly! Your support has been our foundation since our beginnings back in 2013, and we’re eager to keep going for another year, bringing you great content in comics, prose, and audio (and maybe more?!). We’ve brought in a lot of new and exciting series this year, but we can’t keep the magazine going without your help. We’ve been evaluating different ways of keeping Sparkler open, and our regular Memberships, which run in parallel to the yearly Kickstarter, are always a key way, but selling year-long memberships (plus ebooks and paperbacks) in this Kickstarter is still the best way to keep things rolling and make sure our creators get paid–and to ensure we can keep content coming to YOU, our beloved audience, month after month. We’ve got about five weeks to hit our goal, and we have special ~bonus incentives~ in the Kickstarter itself (check out the first one we’ve announced about a Sunshine Boy future!boys bonus), so please help us get the word out so we can keep great stuff coming your way!

And as always, thank you so, so much for your support all these years. <3 Let’s do this!


The Sparkler Team

The official start of the Summer of Sparkler!

Hey there, Sparkler fans!

One week until summer officially begins in our corner of the world, but we’re going to get a jump-start on it, since it’s a particularly exciting one for us here at the Sparkler offices. We’ve got a whopping SEVEN new chapters (all from different series!) out this month, including another new comics serial joining our line-up! The days are nice and long and school’s on break, so it’s the perfect time to dive in your favorite Sparkler stories and maybe even find something new that you love. <3 We’re going to have special deluxe-sized issues all summer, as thanks for all your support over the past year (hooray Magical How Kickstarter! In right under the wire!) and as we prepare for our big yearly Kickstarter for Sparkler Year 5. Woo!

First up, we’re psyched to have Uncanny Valley High joining the magazine! High school is weird enough, but imagine if you were part of a nearly-but-not-quite-real simulation. It’s all the expected problems of grades and romance and angst, but with glitchy software, slow render times, and a near-constant sense that something is just a little off… We’ve also got fresh installments of new favorites Sunshine Boy and Yellow Hearts, the latest chapters of the fantastic light novels Decoy and Retrofit (from creative team powerhouse Bell and Hazel) and the always clever and spooky Dead Endings 2: Dead Leads, and new chapters of old favorites Orange Junk and Knights-Errantwith Louise having a moving father-daughter moment and Oz trying to liquor up Wil, respectively. :3 Plus, we’ve got a brand-new podcast where the Sparkler team is joined by Magical How creator Eurika Yusin Gho and Zoey/Capo of podcast Gutter Queens (and video game Out of Sync) fame to talk Wonder Woman and action/adventure stories told through the Female Gaze.

But that’s not all! We have even more new releases this month: Before You Go story #3 Now and Then is now completed online and available as an ebook; the June Sparkler Survey is up, ready for your feedback and offering a cool raffle at the end; and we’ll have a booth at Connecticon this July, so come see us! And in our pursuit to make the Sparkler experience as fun and convenient as possible, we’re in the process of updating many of our systems, which includes…

A brand-new Patreon option for Sparkler membership, if it’s more convenient for you to sign up there! The Patreon route will get you the same free member issues, VIP files, and Cherry Bomb products you download through membership on our site, just delivered through their system, if you’re already on Patreon and want to grab all your stuff in one place. :D This option was added by popular demand~

Summer fun, here we come!


The Sparkler Staff

May brings flowers, and comics galore!

Hello, hello, Sparkler Fans!

This month we’ve got a special treat: an EXTRA LONG (200 pages) all-comics issue! We’ve brought a couple of great ongoing series into the fold these last few weeks, the first being the magical and mystical Yellow Hearts, and the second being the dramatic and elegant Heart of Gold, and now they’re being joined by the precious and precocious Sunshine Boy! A slice-of-life story about Kelly, a sweet but awkward young boy who’s nervous about moving to a new town, and whose parents are adoring, but busy dealing with some of their own issues…until he meets Grey, the outgoing boy next door, and they become fast friends. We’ve got almost an entire graphic novel’s worth of content going up at once–two chapters and the start of the third–so there’s more than enough story for you to fall in love with, just as we did!

Plus, two current favorites, Orange Junk and Knights-Errant, also have new pages this month! Louise decides to find a part-time job to help out her family and figure out what she wants from life, while the Margrave accidentally lets some of Wil’s secret slip to Vitturi…!

And as an Orange Junk bonus, our Sparkler Podcast for the month features creator Heldrad, fresh from the Toronto Comic Arts Festival! She’s always a pleasure to talk to, so enjoy her chat with Sparkler editors Lianne & Becca. <3

We’ve launched another new initiative this month: the Sparkler Survey. The May edition is currently up, and you can fill it out in about two minutes. Your feedback helps us tailor Sparkler to your interests–and this month you can vote on our Tokyo Demons Kickstarter keychain and dakimakura characters, too! A new survey will be up every month as we try to make your Sparkler experience as awesome as possible. :-)

We’re also about halfway through our Kickstarter to print Magical How Vol. 1, with a little over 50% to go! Thanks as always for your help and support on that front–we all love cute boys in pretty dresses, and we’re super eager to see this go to press ASAP!

Happy reading, folks!


The Sparkler Staff