We have some unfortunate news. Chromatic Press will be shutting down our major publishing operations at the beginning of August. The final issue of Sparkler Monthly will come out in July, two issues from now–the final issue of Year 6 will now be the final issue of the entire magazine. After that, we plan to finish up some projects before shutting down the entire company in December.
This has been an extremely tough decision for us. Although we had several years with a small but encouraging profit, this past year we’ve struggled to make enough money to run on, and despite trying to turn things around, our readership just isn’t as big as we need it to be to keep going. We’ve spent the last few months trying to find ways to keep the company and the magazine going, but nothing worked out, and we don’t want to cause stress and pain by dragging something out if we don’t have confidence it will get better. We hope at this point that we can end Sparkler with dignity and close this chapter in all our lives, allowing our creators and staff to move on to better things.
Thank you so much to all of our fans–everyone who’s left a comment, drawn a piece of fanart, bought a book or a membership, or just read and enjoyed the work we put out there. Your support has meant the world to us. None of this would have been possible without you, and words can’t convey how grateful we are that you gave us a chance.
We also wanted to give an extra shout-out to the batch of very special Sparkler fans out there–you know who you are–who supported EVERYTHING we did. There were some names we saw pop up for years pledging to every Kickstarter, buying in on every membership drive, and jumping to help in every call for support, even if it was something they’d already done. Some of these incredible Sparkler fans have been active on social media and in our Discord, but others were more reserved and just privately helped us carry on through thick and thin. We know plenty of intensely loyal fans of individual creators and series, but showing that kind of support for an entire publisher truly floored us, and we want you to know that when we saw your name come up again and again, we all laughed and smiled together at the office, and you gave us the fuel to keep going when times were hard. Truly, thank you so much for always being there.
We plan to spend the next few months tying up loose ends–finishing off Kickstarters, selling through our stock of books, and publishing the endings of several of our series that are close to finishing. Stories that are still ongoing will likely be moving to different platforms or publishers, and we hope you’ll continue to support our creators wherever they go. We’ll be making an update about the logistics shortly on this thread.
We started this company because we wanted to publish the kind of stories that we wanted to read–progressive, accessible, and fun, where everyone is welcome but women and queer people are the stars of the show (including the creators, staff, and the ones owning and making decisions for the company). Even if Sparkler is ending, we are so, so proud of the work we did, and when we look around at the wildly talented people we’ve had the joy of working with–creators and staff alike–we know you haven’t seen the last of any of us. I hope that, in some small way, we’ve been a positive force in this industry.
Thank you all so much for taking this journey with us. With gratitude and love,
Rebecca, Lianne, and the Sparkler Staff
Some logistics about the next few months:
In order to focus on finishing the magazine, our shop will not be shipping orders between now and the end of July–however, shipping will resume in August, and we will be throwing a big warehouse sale starting this week so our readers can pick up any pending books they’ve been eyeing. Here are the details:
1.) This Friday, June 14th, we will be discounting our books and ebooks as much as 50% off, and we will start selling the four new books we recently got in: Tokyo Demons Book 3, Decoy and Retrofit, The Jackson Lunta Snow Dance Song, and the Magical How Cherry Bomb (17+) bonus story doujinshi.
2.) You will be able to purchase the books immediately starting on Friday–please note that some have limited quantities–but the books will ship in August. Once we’re in August, shipments from that point forward will ship at a normal speed (a few days after purchase).
3.) We plan to sell our remaining books at least through the fall. Our website should also be running at least through the fall, with new comic pages coming out on the website as their serialization catches up with what we published in the magazine.
Any outstanding Kickstarter orders or problem packages will be shipped by August as well. Kickstarter items that we’re still working on (Before You Go, plus some merch mostly) will be shipped as soon as the items come in, and you’ll be updated through Kickstarter itself.
Thank you all again for your support.