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

A MONTHLY DIGITAL MAGAZINE OF COMICS, PROSE AND AUDIO

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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!

XOXO,

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!

XOXO,

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!

XOXO,

The Sparkler Staff



Feel the Love

Sparkler Monthly Issue #043 (February 2017)Hello, Sparkler Fans!

Happy belated Valentine’s Day! We hope you enjoyed your little Cherry Bomb Valentine’s Treat from Kate Leth and Sarah Winifred Searle. ;-) That was one of the final pieces of our Year 3 Kickstarter, and it’s everything we hoped it would be. :-D

Overseas

For our February update, we’ve got dramatic new pages of Knights-Errant, the exciting and possibly romantic(?!) return of Orange Junk, more booze and death in Dead Endings: Book 2 which is now going under the official title Dead Leads (and has a spectacular cover as well–Nasty Women Unite!!), and a new, surprisingly angsty installment of “Before You Go” while things heat up in a big way in Decoy and Retrofit. So we get to bring you a little romance, a whole lot of drama, and some sex and monsters this time around. Hope you like it!

In other news, we’re running a Kickstarter to fund a print run of the complete Tokyo Demons series–we’re almost at our first goal after just 10 days, so let’s see how far we can go to unlock the really fun Stretch Goals we have planned! Speaking of “far,” two of our Sparkler founders are actually completing this update from Japan as they scout locations for the developing Tokyo Ghosts series (and engage in various fujoshi-related activities), and they recorded this month’s Sparkler Podcast about Kickstarter in Tokyo. We look forward to seeing how all their “research” pays off once we kick into the next big arc of the series. Exciting!!

Tokyo Demons: The Complete Series Kickstarter

In the meantime, we’re plowing through our final round of submissions review as well, so look forward to that in the near future. And as for other travel, we’re looking forward to running a booth at the first-ever BishounenCon in March! We’ve had a blast at YaoiCon for the past few years, and we can’t wait for this inaugural show of its East Coast edition. See you there?!

Come see the Sparkler booth at BishounenCon 2017!

XOXO,

The Sparkler Team



Happy Holidays!!

Sparkler Monthly Issue #041 (December 2016)Whew! Thank you, Sparkler fans, for your enthusiastic support of the Orange Junk Kickstarter, which wrapped up yesterday after meeting its goal! Hooray!! We literally couldn’t have done it without all your likes and reblogs and offers of pole-dancing fanart, and we’re ever so grateful. :-D

It’s been an exciting year here at the Sparkler offices (in all their various locations), and while I’m looking forward to saying “good riddance” to 2016 as a whole, I couldn’t be more proud of the work our amazing creators have put forth, the passion and excitement of our fans, and the many hours our staff members have given to bringing fun, emotional (and sometimes sexy!) Female Gaze content to readers and listeners worldwide. It’s a joy and a privilege to be doing what we do, and your comments, emails, and shares help keep us all motivated. We hope that the stories our creators lovingly produce bring you just as much joy!

For our final issue of the 2016 calendar year, we’ve got some terrific things lined up: the conclusion of Volume 2 of Windrose (cliffhanger, yikes!!), the start of a new chapter of Knights-Errant (backstory?!), horrifying ghost eyeballs in Dead Endings, the next literally explosive installment of Decoy and Retrofit from Always Raining Here guest stars Bell and Hazel, and squeal-worthy romantic progress in Orange JunkAnd for our podcast this month, we have /report host MK (Moonklutz) join us to discuss the Internet’s understandable obsession this winter: the figure-skating anime Yuri on Ice.

What will 2017 bring? We hope to continue to provide the best and brightest in comics, light novels, and audio dramas…and maybe more video games for our fans across the globe! (Which reminds me – those of you who pitched in our last Open Submissions period, our first round of replies has been delayed a bit, but you should receive a response in the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience as we enjoy your submissions!)

XOXO,

Lillian Diaz-Przybyl (comics editor)



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!

hotblood_productimg2

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)