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!
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
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
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-Errant—with 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
We’re thrilled to present our latest issue, headed by the launch of a brand-new Sparkler series! The fantastic Yellow Hearts is moving from Tapastic/Tapas to join our line-up, and it’s over 50 pages long (including 6 brand-new pages) already, all of which can be downloaded in this issue. We’re sure you’re going to love it–Yellow Hearts’ captivating fantasy world, focus on found family, and marvelous character designs all jumped out at us immediately as something we wanted to have in our magazine. Please join us in welcoming the creator Keezy Young to Sparkler! \^o^/
We’ve also got Knights-Errant back after its brief hiatus, with a whopping 8 new pages in the issue, so we’re back to a twice-a-week release schedule on the site. Hooray!! It’s time for some snarky backstory and light torture–our favorite! This issue also has a Magical How? short story, funded by the success of our Sparkler Year 4 Kickstarter–did you ever wonder how Gabe found out that Booker is gay? The answer is a real hoot! Plus, we’re in love with the hilarious and sweet ending to Before You Go: Now and Then while shivering at the thrilling new chapter of Dead Leads. It’s a fresh batch of chapters for the spring, all ready for you to enjoy!
What’s coming up on the horizon? Well, now that our submissions are complete, you can look forward to a lot of new content starting in the magazine over the next few months, in a little initiative that we’re calling The Summer of Sparkler! It was great to have so many people pitch us such exciting stuff, and we’re psyched to get to share it with all of you. Stay tuned to our social media feeds to make sure you don’t miss a thing. <3
Also, our crew will be at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) next month, along with the fantastic Heldrad, creator of Orange Junk…and we may have some fun new merch along with us?! Come by to say hi, get some books signed, and pick up the latest and greatest from the Sparkler Shop!
The Sparkler Team
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
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!!
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?!
The Sparkler Team
We’re well into the new year at this point, and we’ve got a huge new issue for you – although we wanted to share some oldies but goodies along with all the fresh content! Our cover story for the issue is Part 1 of the long-awaited third installment of “Before You Go,” everyone’s favorite sweet girls’ love story. <3 “Before You Go” came to us through our first open submissions process, and it hit us right off the bat as exactly the sort of story we wanted to publish. This third (and final…?) chapter is brought to you by our Year 4 Kickstarter, and it’s been a pleasure to work with Denise Schroeder again. It was an even bigger pleasure to have her join this month’s podcast as well! And since it’s been a while since we ran the first two short stories that make up BYG, we’re bringing them back – in their entirety – in this month’s issue for you to download. Enjoy!
Also coming from Sparkler Classics is the first three chapters (90 whopping pages!) of Studio Kosen‘s sexy fantasy extravaganza Lettera, which was originally published in Spanish. As we dive into the third volume in online serialization, we thought it’d be nice to give the magazine fans a hefty download of the start of the series. If you haven’t read any of Lettera yet, you’re in for a treat! Packed with terrific action, hilarious characters, and more tragic backstory than you can shake a magical staff at, the first chapters are included as part of this issue, and then you can go read a whole other book and a half online (or snag them as cheap, awesome ebooks). You’ve got a lot to look forward to. :-D
And that’s not to mention the new installments of Magical How, Knights-Errant, and the long-awaited Cat Lover’s Circumstances in this issue! Knights-Errant and Magical How are also adjusting their serialization schedules this month: Knights-Errant is temporarily going to one page a week (Tues), but Magical How is permanently moving to two days a week (Mondays and Wednesdays), hooray! We know the free online readers crave those bickering boys in dresses more than once a week, so you’re getting your wish granted in 2017. \^o^/
The Knights-Errant: Volume 1 paperback edition is officially in wide release – the Kickstarter is mostly fulfilled, so if you weren’t a backer, now you can get your hands on this gorgeousness through the good old Sparkler Shop. (Seriously, these books are so lovely… Everyone did such a great job putting them together!)
For you *ahem* older Sparkler readers, we’ve got a slew of new Cherry Bomb stories leading up to Valentine’s Day, following the steamy Tokyo Demons/Tokyo Ghosts short “X-Mas” (Nick x Ayase) we released a few weeks ago! Plus our East Coast team will be heading to the Dealer’s Room of BishonenCon in March and TCAF in May, so come on by and say hello if you’re at either event. And in the meantime, we’ll be wrapping up our submissions reviews, in addition to tweaking the main Sparkler site for 2017. It’s a lot simpler to buy a membership and get your downloads now – just click “Membership” on the top bar to see everything on one page. Tell your friends. :3
Happy New Year, and may 2017 be bright, peaceful, and prosperous for all.
The Sparkler Staff
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 Junk! And 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!)
Lillian Diaz-Przybyl (comics editor)
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!
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.
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!
Lillian Diaz-Przybyl (comics editor)
In honor of the rapidly impending Halloween, we’ve got a spooky, sexy, scary issue for you this month! Cailen and Everett are introduced to the world of ghost whisperers in Dead Endings, Wil’s run-in with the Margrave turns personal in Knights-Errant, a sinister stranger appears in Magical How, Tara is stuck in a horrific hell-mire in Nine Circles, and in Orange Junk…someone’s moving in for a kiss?! Read the Orange Junk chapter that has the whole Sparkler staff in a shrieking frenzy! :-D Plus, man on man, look at that awesome masquerade ball cover. I love it when characters play dress-up!
On the topic of Orange Junk, we’re also celebrating the season by turning the site orange in its honor…and to promote its upcoming Kickstarter! We’re long overdue to get Orange Junk Volumes 2 and 3 (and maybe 4!) into print so you can line them up on your shelf in all their shojo glory, so stay tuned to hear more about that in the next few weeks. As a little taste of what’s to come, don’t miss Heldrad’s special Orange Junk merch livestream on Sunday, October 16th, where you can prompt Heldrad for the chibi of your dreams, and we’ll turn the winner into a keychain. :-D Orange Junk is also moving to five free pages per week on the site until Issue #040 comes out–to help you free readers catch up to the magazine faster–and Heldrad is even the guest of this month’s podcast! She’s a joy to talk to, so listen in for some juicy insight into making modern, Western shojo, including her ridiculous production pace!
Orange Junk mania isn’t the only exciting event we have happening this month, either. We’re also running a special Halloween Goodreads Giveaway for copies of the Dead Endings paperback right here (free to enter!), and our ongoing Tokyo Demons fanstory contest is open until October 21st, where your story can win you a prize pack and get the voice cast to perform an audio version of your entry!
These are just a few ways to thank you all for being such awesome fans. :-D We couldn’t run this place without your support.
-Lillian (comics editor)
P.S. We got some fantastic submissions in last month–more than 90 of them, in fact! We’re busy reviewing them, and are having a great time doing so. XD
After a steamy, sultry summer full of new issues, Kickstarters, and other craziness, I’m really looking forward to fall’s cool breezes, crisp weather, and tasty seasonal beverages! And what better way to enjoy a seasonal beverage than while reviewing a fresh and exciting pile of submissions. :-D That’s right–for the month of September, Sparkler is open for submissions in both our comics and prose departments, and we can’t wait to see what you all come up with! Along with the refreshing change of seasons, we’re looking to refresh our line-up a bit, so this is a great opportunity for those of you who are looking to publish media online and would value editorial and logistical support. ;-) (All info at http://sparklermonthly.com/about/submissions/)
And if you’re in San Francisco this weekend, come to YaoiCon–we’ll have a Sparkler table in the Dealer’s Room, packed with our books (and Sparkler Distro books!) along with a lot of fun merch. That includes some brand-new stuff that’s not on sale yet but we have special preview copies of, ho ho~.
We’ve got another great issue for you this month! Knights-Errant is back with exciting battles and intrigue, Orange Junk hits the “budding romance” button nice and hard, Nine Circles puts the “terror” in “time-share” (shut up, I know that’s not how it works…), we get new friends (?!) and scandalous backstory in Magical How?…and to wrap it all up, we’ve got a special standalone Skyglass story that takes place after the end of the novel!
Our Sparkler Podcast this month is about visual novels, the type of video game we just released with last month’s Out of Sync. We have special guest (and Sparkler staff member!) Pachi joining our roundtable of Jill, Lianne, and Leah to discuss Out of Sync, Japanese otome games, indie visual novels (and Ren’Py), dating sims you can buy in English on your smartphone…the whole shebang. You’ll probably learn something interesting and/or hilarious from this broad discussion, whether you’re an experienced gamer or total newbie.
So go outside with your favorite reading device and enjoy the wonderful fall air while indulging in the latest and greatest from Sparkler…knowing that soon, someone like YOU could be published here as well!
-Lillian Diaz-Przybyl (comics editor)
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…
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.
-Lillian Diaz-Przybyl (comics editor)
This was totally coincidental, since every month at Sparkler is at least a little bit queer, but I’m super happy that our cover for June (also known as LGBT History Month and/or Pride Month) is the two amazing women from Windrose sharing a romantic moment. Thanks for providing us with this glorious (and very timely) illustration, Studio Kosen! It was no contest in choosing what was going to get our cover spot this time around. The rest of the chapter is fabulous, too, with angsty backstory, hurt-comfort, and present-day shenanigans, so we hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!
What else is on the table for this month’s issue? A horrifying and beautiful Knights-Errant bonus story (funded by the Kickstarter!) about Anton and Beppe, the final(!) fight in Tokyo Demons, awkward and awful confessions in Orange Junk, and a little coffee klatch with the new team of short-skirted and stylish magicals in Magical How! (But seriously, we need to put, like, a zillion trigger warnings on that Knights-Errant story… If only it didn’t hurt so good!)
In addition, you get a new podcast episode in which our editorial team talks about our plans for Year 4 of the magazine – and its upcoming Kickstarter. Sparkler defines itself as being a “female gaze” publication, which I feel we, the founders, often translate pretty directly into “stuff we like and want to publish” since we’re also the target audience. :-D But regardless, I take a lot of pride in having a diversity of stories in our line-up, featuring not just characters of a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds, but a variety of gender expressions and sexual orientations as well. And I’m proud that our audience has always responded not just positively, but enthusiastically to the full spectrum of stories that we present.
As we close Year 3 and look forward to Year 4, that’s a goal of ours that I’m eager to continue, and maybe even expand! Details on that will be rolling out over the next few weeks with our Year 4 Kickstarter, so stay tuned… But in the meantime, have fun with the new issue!
-Lillian (comics editor)
Happy May! We’ve got a great issue for you, with new pages from Knights-Errant, fresh from its incredibly successful Kickstarter (a Beppe & Anton short story, foil emboss, AND an Oz and Kadeen story?! Your generosity has blessed us all!). Beyond that, things are getting “drama”-tic in Orange Junk, an above-average number of scary bees in Tokyo Demons, and the marvelous conclusion to KaiJu’s latest short, “Inhabitant of Another Planet.” Cue gross sobbing…
Our additional features for this issue are audio, and include a downloadable Sparkler Soundtrack of original music that Becca, our audio department head, has composed for our various projects over the last few years. Neat! Becca works her butt off on the audio side of the magazine, so this is an exciting way to highlight how much she’s put into that initiative, and how much we all appreciate it. Hope you all enjoy it as well!
Plus we have our latest podcast, featuring Emily Compton and Onorobo of Dusk in Kalevia. These two charmers put out a terrific supernatural spy novel with us, but they’ve also worked on other amazing projects, including Hiveswap and Starfighter: Eclipse. Hearing them talk is a real treat.
If you’re in a shopping mood, we also have two new products in the Sparkler Shop: the ebook for Lettera Volume 2 by Studio Kôsen, which is something like 40 pages(!) ahead of the free online serialization, and an especially awesome Sparkler Distro hardcover: Small Town Witch: Love & Wonder by Little Foolery! Get ’em while they’re hot. And stay tuned for the return of the Sparkler RPG: ESPU this month, with our next session streaming LIVE on May 28th!
It’s been a series of busy months for the whole Sparkler team, between day jobs and everything we do here, so we’re looking forward to sitting back a bit and celebrating some of our accomplishments once this issue is out. Most of our staff is off to TCAF (the Toronto Comic Arts Festival) this weekend, which is always a great time – so if you’re in town, we hope you stop by our table and say hello! We’ll have all our books and most of our merch there for sale. It’s like a little working vacation for our crew, but it’s a great way to recharge and get in touch with our readers to see what you’re enjoying, and what you’d like to see more of in the future. We’re all doing this because we love it, but we want to make sure you all love it, too.
-Lillian (comics editor)
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/
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!
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 Novae, in 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.
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! ;-)
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)
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)
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 Demons—which 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)
Happy 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 Quarry, after 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
Use the coupon code HOLIDAY in the Sparkler Shop to get a discount on ALL purchases in your cart, including Distro titles and Gift Memberships (you can buy for yourself)! Free USA shipping on orders $60 and above!
If used between now and Monday, Nov 30th: 15% off!
If used between Dec 1st and Dec 31st: 10% off!