Song credit (from video): Coffee Stains by Riot
Hello! We're the editors at Chromatic Press, the independent publisher behind Sparkler Monthly magazine. After a successful Kickstarter last year for Year 3 (thank you!), we're back to fund another year, so we can give you more of the content you know and love and a bunch of new surprises!
Welcome to the Kickstarter for Sparkler Monthly Year 4!
Based off the Japanese comics model you might know from magazines like Shonen Jump, Sparkler Monthly runs serialized fiction in monthly chapters--so every month, you get a new piece of five different series at once. Most of our series are comics, but we also publish prose with illustrations, audio dramas, and one-shot short stories in any format. All of them are bundled together in the magazine so our audience can get a taste of everything.
Sparkler Monthly is targeted at women and girls aged 15 and up, or anyone interested in that kind of material--like the genres shojo and josei in Japan. In addition to all our series, we run features, podcasts, and bonus stories to give our readers more bang for their buck, and to help build a community. Sparkler is about Lifestyle through Fiction, and between our social media and contests, we invite our audience to become a part of Sparkler--something that literally happens sometimes, since we also run periods of open submissions in search of new talent!
After three years of running our magazine and releasing almost fifty ebooks and paperbacks from it, we're proud of what we've built. We pay our creators advances, give them veteran editors, and release their work in a number of formats, all while keeping copyright in the creators' names. In an era where we have an industry-wide push to support more comics for women, that's exactly what we publish: Female Gaze content for women, men, and non-binary readers in a wide variety of genres, much of it LGBT+. And although we hire all genders, the vast majority of the Sparkler family is female--from the owners to the editors to the creators to the staff--and we're proud that the female perspective is the norm here, rather the exception.
Regardless of genre, the core of Sparkler serials is emotional content--we want FEELS. Interesting characters, loaded relationships, and shocking cliffhangers. Anything that will make our readers scream!
Here's a small sampling:
Magical How? Magical Boy's Love Comedy, 16+ (by Eurika Yusin Gho)
Windrose: LGBT+ Historical Adventure, 13+ (by Studio Kosen)
Knights-Errant: LGBT+ War Drama, 16+ (by Jennifer Doyle)
Orange Junk: High School Romantic Comedy, 13+ (by Heldrad)
Dead Endings: Snarky NYC Ghost Story, 16+ (by Jessica Chavez and Irene Flores)
Sparkler RPG (ESPU): Urban Fantasy Tabletop RPG (streamed live, art by Angeline Mauri), 16+
Off*Beat: Boy’s Love Mystery/Drama, 13+ (by Jen Lee Quick)
Tokyo Demons: Urban Fantasy Adventure/Drama, 16+ (by Lianne Sentar, Rem, and Romy-chan)
Mahou Josei Chimaka: LGBT+ Magical Girl/Woman, 16+ (by KaiJu)
Awake: Science Fiction Mystery/Drama, 16+ (by Tory Woollcott, Barabara, Angela Sham, and Rebecca Scoble)
Before You Go: Girl’s Love Sweet Romance, 13+ (by Denise Schroeder)
Most of our content is free to read online, so head to sparklermonthly.com to start binge-reading right now!
Paying Sparkler Members don’t need to read their content online--they get DRM-free downloads of the new stuff a month or more before it’s released online, as well as special bonuses to download to their computers and e-readers. Our paying audience is both supporting our content, and downloading it to keep forever.
We have two types of memberships:
- Normal: Get DRM-free downloads of the current issue(s) a month before the pages are available online, all Member Exclusives (20 and counting!), and early releases of the Sparkler Podcast. See all downloads here!
- VIP: Everything in the normal membership, plus series-specific ebooks of everything running in the magazine (so you don't miss a back chapter), plus our entire steamy Cherry Bomb line. See all downloads here!
Our Cherry Bomb imprint is for our older readers (we recommend ages 17+), and features sexy side stories and art for a number of Sparkler serials. We're always adding new Cherry Bomb pieces, so VIP Members have unlimited downloads to the entire line, including anything we add during their membership!
In addition to continuing the great series running in Sparkler Monthly right now, we have special plans we’ve been saving for Year 4. As this Kickstarter runs through the month of July, we'll update this space with announcements of Year 4 goodies! :D
Day #1 announcement: We have TWO announcements to start with.
- If this Kickstarter succeeds, we're opening up submissions again shortly after the Kickstarter ends! We're looking for new content in Year 4...and it might come from YOU! :D
- In Year 4, we'll be releasing our first visual novel video game! We're proud to announce Out of Sync, a small BL visual novel with Paper Star Studios!
Taisei, a vocalist in the boy band 4LiGHT, is known for his poppy, electric stage persona--a mask he wears over an angry insecurity. He only started singing to keep up with his childhood friend Shou. When both boys were scouted in high school, they began to drift apart, and Taisei has watched Shou--with a superior voice but weaker stage presence--flounder in his own band. Taisei hates that he has the career his best friend deserves.
Suffocated by the restrictive life of a pop idol he never truly wanted, Taisei tries to reconnect with Shou...only to find that Shou has also changed under the glitz and lights of the stage. Taisei isn’t sure what to think of the new Shou--at least, until Shou kisses him.
July 7th announcement: This fall, we'll be publishing the next project from Bell and Hazel of the delightful comic Always Raining Here! We're thrilled to announce their new BL light novel about two young men who escape the military in a plan that goes awry: The Decoy and Retrofit!
Noel and Griffin didn’t think they would ever meet each other again. Five years after the collapse of civilization thanks to the arrival of alien colonists, the pair of childhood friends have an unexpected reunion while trying to shoot each other with assault rifles. The easily-swayed-to-desertion men abandon their posts and steal a truck to escape their violent lives, and to remember who they were before the world went to hell.
July 13th announcement: In Year 4, we can release a project we've been secretly excited about for a long time: the third installment in Denise Schroeder's adorable girl x girl romance series, Before You Go. With the third chapter, the series will finally be ready for a graphic novel! \^o^/
This has always been one of Sparkler's most popular titles (read a wonderful review of it at the yuri site Okazu here), and proved to us that there's a real desire out there for sweet girls' romance made specifically in the Female Gaze. We've wanted to do a full graphic novel for a long time, and this third chapter will be the key to that - and will bring Sadie and Robin's next self-contained story of cuteness to your eager eyes! With your help, we can use Year 4 to bring this wonderful series home!
When Sadie encounters the stylish and sophisticated Robin on the train one rainy day, little did she know that she would be making a great friend...and perhaps something more? A girl-meets-girl rainy-day romance! Read Parts 1 - 2 now!
You can download the issue right now! And, as always, press "refresh" on sparklermonthly.com to see the new color of our website! We change it with every issue, since our readers seem to love that. :)
Unfortunately, this will be our last issue ever if this Kickstarter doesn't succeed. Fortunately, we have two weeks to go, and even more announcements coming. We can do this! Thank you so much for your support. <3
July 28th announcement: Here are the FINAL Year 4 bonus projects to be announced in this Kickstarter:
Eurika Yusin Gho (eyugho), the creator of Magical How? has a special short comic in the works...the story of how Gabe "discovered" Booker's sexuality when the two became roommates. In true Magical How? fashion, this ain't your normal coming out story, so prepare for hilarious hijinks!
This Magical How? bonus comic will ONLY happen if the Kickstarter succeeds, but everyone who pledges $10 or more will get a free download of the full comic once it's out! (No waiting for one page a week, no sirree!)
Our self-contained Situation Audio Dramas/CDs are an immersive format (popular in Japan) where voice actors speak directly to the listener and lead them through a story--in our case, sexy romances. :) The listener isn't gendered, so anyone can identify! In last year's Bad Chemistry, you're trying to melt the heart of your grumpy lab partner Derek. Now it's time to pursue a few more fantasies:
- In the tradition of Bad Chemistry, have a sweet romance with a girl! (To be released in Sparkler Monthly.)
- In a spicier scenario, enjoy a day with your live-in man! (To be released in our mature Cherry Bomb imprint, which is free with any VIP membership.)
And we're very excited to welcome back M. (link slightly NSFW), the fantastic artist who did our members-only couples calendar for 2015, to do some original art for this project--and bring your audio fantasy to life!
This Kickstarter is to help fund another 12 issues of the magazine, but here’s the best part--Sparkler fiction comes in a lot of different packages, for whichever way you like to read. If you don't want to follow serialized chapters in a magazine, we have complete ebooks for each series! Hate reading on your computer at all? We also have paperbacks! And some of our fantastic readers and creators have joined our tiers to offer you special bonuses, original art, and even commissioned illustrations!
But first, a few notes:
- If you want to try our magazine without a year's commitment, or download content without waiting for this Kickstarter to end, we have other options and prizes in the Membership Drive on our site. Check it out for cheaper, quicker gratification that still helps fund Year 4!
- If you already have a Year's Membership to Sparkler but want to pledge here for Year 4, once this Kickstarter is over, we'll credit you back for the overlapping months with a gift card to the Sparkler Shop. Contact us here or at email@example.com with any questions.
If you want an ebook and/or paperback tier, here are all your options in one place:
And now, the rewards!
($50: See all our Member Downloads here!)
(Read more about Out of Sync here!)
($55: See all of Sparkler Year 1 + 3.5 ebooks here!)
($100: See all our VIP Downloads here!)
($175 Magazine: See all our back issues here!)
($195: See all our VIP Downloads here!)
See more of KaiJu's art at http://novae-comic.tumblr.com
See more of Romy's art at http://romy-chan.tumblr.com
See more of Angi's art at http://laengine.tumblr.com
See more of Jenn's writing at http://jenngrunigen.com
See more of Onorobo's art (some NSFW) at http://onorobo.tumblr.com
See more of Jen's art at http://wulfmune.deviantart.com
See more of Jamie's art at http://www.jamieism.com
See more of Lianne's writing at http://sparklermonthly.com
See this series at http://sparklermonthly.com/series/magical-how/
See more of Kosen's art at http://www.stkosen.com/
See more of Tacto's art at http://bentocomics.com/tacto/
See more of Heldrad's art at http://sparklermonthly.com
See more of Koti's art at http://awakencomic.tumblr.com
Risks and challenges
We've run five successful publishing Kickstarters in the past, and Lianne has managed more as a freelancer for Hiveworks Comics. Our reliable, enthusiastic staff has basically stayed the same as Year 3. There are always risks when you're a small operation, but we're all ready to do this for another year, if you'll have us.
(If a backer is concerned now or in the future and isn't satisfied with updates here or at sparklermonthly.com, our editors can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)