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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you out.
Have a hauntingly good time with the new issue, folks! And Happy Halloween!
The Witches of Sparkler
Where did this month go?! Between conventions and travel and Kickstarters and production delays, it’s been a crazy March here at the Sparkler Offices (in all our varied locations). But we finally have our March issue ready…just in time for April!
This month we have a little blast from the past with Team KaiJu–we’ve got a shiny new ebook of their amazing “Inhabitant of Another Planet” debuting today, so in honor of that, we’ve got a re-release of their complete first story for Sparkler, “The Ring of Saturn,” which is connected to “Inhabitant.” Both stories are part of KaiJu’s epic latest work, Novae, which runs on its own site but also makes an appearance as a special preview in this issue! (“Saturn” is a great intro to what terrific storytellers KaiJu are, and even though it’s set during the early days of World War I, several hundred years after “Inhabitant,” you may see some familiar faces… ;-D)
We’ve also got new chapters of Magical How and Orange Junk, both of which feature some tough conversations (and aaaaall the feeeeels!!), plus a sequel light novel story to our first game project, Out of Sync, continuing after the best ending of the game! We love multimedia storytelling, in case you couldn’t tell. This issue also features our first-ever Cherry Bomb (17+) story to run in Sparkler proper–some tasty Tokyo Demons/Tokyo Ghosts for you all to enjoy! If you like what you see, there’s plenty more Cherry Bomb where that came from.
A million thanks again for your support on the Tokyo Demons Kickstarter last month. It was a great success, and voting on the new Stretch Goal merch will start soon. We’ll have more details on the rewards and deliveries for the Orange Junk Kickstarter this month as well–Heldrad is taking April off to work on the new bonus comics for Vol 2-3…and will be joining us at our Dealer’s Table at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May! Come say hi!!
And last but not least, we’re finally done with our submissions review–if you haven’t heard from us, definitely give us a ping. Now we’re talking with an exciting bunch of new talent, and we’re eager to share their work with you all in upcoming months!
Onward and upward!
The Sparkler Team
Shipping delays in February.
Sorry for the short notice, but the Sparkler Shop staff will be away from the shipping office from Feb 6th through Feb 22nd. That means all physical packages (in the mail) that are ordered between those dates will not start shipping until Feb 23rd.
You can still make all your purchases as normal, but we just wanted you to be aware of the unusual delay before the items will ship. Digital products, as always, are automatically emailed as download links and are not effected by this.
Sorry for the inconvenience!
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
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!
Recent and restocked!
Now that we’re back from TCAF 2015, we’ve stocked the Sparkler Shop with our newest products! We have brand-spanking-new Ring of Saturn perfect-bound paperbacks (whee! XD), all of which were signed by KAIJU during their TCAF appearance. We also have Christy Lijewski‘s slick art book BLKBT; although we’re sorry to say that Dire Hearts is still on hiatus due to Christy’s health, she has an amazing backlist, and that art book is packed with her famously freaky-and-handsome dudes, among other things.
Also new in the shop by KAIJU: the complete Mahou Josei Chimaka ebook (featuring exclusive, brand-new chapter covers) and a pre-order for the Chimaka paperback, coming this July! We’re so excited for that one. <3 KAIJU has really been killing it lately, so we’re happy to have a giant shop update that’s almost entirely their stuff.
(I’m not just a manga nerd! I’m an all-around nerd! :-D )
Ah, I’m so excited about our May issue!! After folding the first 40 pages of Jennifer Doyle’s amazing political drama Knights-Errant into the magazine last month, we finally get to update with new pages!! I’m super psyched to be working with Jen, and even more psyched to bring you all the next phase of this fantastic story. And in honor of the new start, this month’s Member Exclusive is a behind-the-scenes podcast chat with me (and Becca) and Jen—listen in as we basically shoot the breeze for an hour, revealing both my internet lurker tendencies, and Jen and my respective overly-educated liberal arts backgrounds! Yesss…
But that’s not all we’ve got on the comics front. “For Peace” wraps up its mini-series run this month, with a lovely and charming conclusion (lady truckers are so sweet to each other!), and volume 1 of Windrose ends in a seriously epic, classic manga fashion! You’re going to love this amazing finish! Plus there’s a hilarious new installment of Orange Junk and the latest thrilling chapter of Skyglass.
So when do you get to read all this great stuff? Well, paid members can download either high-rez PDFs or ebook files of the full issue right away—not to mention get access to our Membership exclusive, which is the above-mentioned podcast with Jennifer Doyle. For folks reading for free, comics update either Monday, Wednesday and Friday, or Tuesday and Thursday, depending on the series. So you’ll get to read everything, it’ll just take a little patience!
The flip side is that this means we still have a bunch of amazing comics continuing from last month as well—from the eerie finale of the first volume of Gatesmith to the mind-blowing magical battle of Mahou Josei Chimaka, our ongoing comics are not to be missed! And that’s not even counting Lettera and Witch’s Quarry which are still going strong!
In other news, most of the Sparkler team, plus several Sparkler creators will all be at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival the weekend of May 10th and 11th—stop by, say hi, and pick up some Sparkler goodies, including print copies of The Ring of Saturn, hot off the presses! Exciting!!
In other, other news, we passed 200 members last week in our Membership Drive, but we’re still a long way from where we want to be in order to keep the company stable, let alone growing—the thing we need the most now, though, is just more awareness. So if you like what we do here, recommend us to a friend! Tell them about your favorite comic, get them to try out one of our awesome audio dramas, sit on them and read them the first chapter of one of our fabulous prose series… We hope they’ll find something that they love about Sparkler too, and then pass it along to the next future fan!
The Sparkler Team
Happy Thanksgiving! With our release of Maiden and the Fish this week, a beautiful short story by new Sparkler additions Lydia Mackenzie (author) and Phong Anh (illustrator), and the temporary lowering of the paywall for Off*Beat Chapter 15, now all chapters in this month’s issue are available free to read! That won’t last forever, so get your goodies while you can.
And now that it’s technically past midnight, we’re in the loved-and-hated BLACK FRIDAY. All products in our shop (except for subscriptions) are 15% off until 11:59 PM EST on Monday if you use the coupon code blackfriday2013 at checkout. Stay home from the crowds and shop in your pjs with us! We also added a special new product: an 11″ x 17″ print of Phong Anh’s beautiful illustration for The Maiden and the Fish, which was also modified for Issue #004’s cover. For you non-subscribers, buying that print will also get you an immediate free download of the short story in ebook format (pdf, epub, and mobi) so you can download that gorgeous short onto your devices. LOVELY.
For those who want to do Sparkler holiday shopping but can’t take part this weekend, no worries – we’ll offer an (admittedly smaller) discount on our store starting Tuesday, and that will run until December 31st. All these sales are to help fund our 2014 line-up, which is shaping up to be awesome. Thanks for your support!
Edit: Forgot to mention that now you can get the Off*Beat Vol 1, Off*Beat Vol 2, and Tokyo Demons Vol 1 paperbacks at Amazon as well (those links will bring you there). And they have their own deals there, too. Nice!