About this project
Hi! We're the editors of Sparkler Monthly Magazine. Thanks to your generous pledges to the Sparkler Year 4 Kickstarter last year, we've been able to keep bringing you women-targeted stories focused on complex characters, relationships of all kinds, and FEELS. We'd love to continue running the magazine and highlighting the great artists and writers we work with, so without further ado...
Welcome to the Kickstarter for Sparkler Monthly Year 5!
Sparkler Monthly is an independent fiction magazine publishing stories for women, men, and non-binary readers in a wide variety of genres, much of them LGBT+ (think of the shojo and josei genres in Japan). Most of our series are comics, but we also publish illustrated prose novels, audio dramas, and short stories - we've even put out a visual novel video game!
Based off of Japanese comic magazines like Shonen Jump, our stories are published in a serialized format. Every month, we release an issue featuring new installments of five different series. When a series is complete, we then republish it as a digital ebook and/or physical paperback.
We also run special features like podcasts with every issue to give our readers more bang for their buck. Between our social media, site comments, reader surveys, and contests, we regularly invite our audience members to become part of the Sparkler community - sometimes literally, through our periodic open submissions where we look for new fiction for the magazine!
Since the start of the magazine, we've always made a point to pay our creators advances, give them veteran editors, and release their work in a number of formats, all while they still own the copyright to their stories.
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.
Our stories run the gamut of genres and characters, but they all have one thing in common: FEELS. In addition to polishing stories from an editorial perspective, we also want them to make our readers laugh, cry, and/or scream!
Old friends reunite to deal with a literal demon from their childhood in Yellow Hearts, the LGBT+ fantasy by Keezy Young.
Kelly is the new boy in town who quickly befriends Grey, the boy next door, in Moosopp's charmingly comedic LGBT+ slice of life Sunshine Boy.
Eli & Viv's gorgeous romantic mystery Heart of Gold will pull you into its dramatic exploration of faith, love, and lies.
Readers of Eurika Yusin Gho's magical boy's love comedy Magical How? regularly (caps-lock) analyze the characters' questionable life choices.
In Knights-Errant, the LGBT+ war drama by Jennifer Doyle, revenge is all fun and games until someone loses a limb(s).
Heldrad's high school romantic comedy Orange Junk is a love letter to shojo about going from riches to rags and enemies to friends, all with lots of blushing and confused yelling.
In Decoy and Retrofit, Bell and Hazel's sci-fi boy's love light novel, post-apocalyptic survival gets complicated with the arrival of a childhood friend, an ice cream truck, and a whole lot of guns.
Denise Schroeder's Before You Go is a sweet, girl-meets-girl slice of life romance, and a long-time favorite of Sparkler readers!
In KaiJu's Mahou Josei Chimaka, can cynical ex-magical woman Chimaka rediscover the magic in herself with the help of her best friend Pippa…and maybe finally save the world?
Why commune with the deceased when you can commune with some coffee (or booze)? Unfortunately for Cailen, ghostly trouble finds her whether she likes it or not in the light novel series Dead Endings, written by Jessica Chavez and illustrated by Irene Flores.
All of these series (and much more) are free to read online at sparklermonthly.com, so check them out!
The vast majority of Sparkler’s series are free to read on our site, with new comic pages posted on a weekly update schedule. Paying Sparkler Members don’t need to wait for new pages, though - they get monthly DRM-free downloads of all new pages weeks or even months before they’re released online, as well as special bonuses to download to their computers and e-readers. With a paid membership, you help support the creators of our stories and get to keep your downloads forever.
We have two types of memberships depending on the Sparkler experience you want:
- Normal: Get DRM-free downloads of the current issue(s) a month or more before the pages are available online, all Member Exclusives (21 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 recommended for ages 17+. See all downloads here!
We also started a Patreon due to popular demand! You get all the same perks that you would if you bought a membership directly on the Sparkler site, but through Patreon’s system, if that's more convenient for you.
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!
We have secret plans we’ve been saving for this Kickstarter. As this project runs over the next month, we'll update this space with announcements of more goodies! ;D
Day #1 announcement: For this Kickstarter, Moosopp - creator of Sunshine Boy - will make a special short comic featuring grown-up Kelly and Grey! Beach trip, anyone? The comic will be released as a Member Exclusive download in the magazine in Year 5. You can pledge to any Year 5 magazine tier to get it - but only if this Kickstarter succeeds! Read more here.
Day #8 announcement: We've added specialty commission tiers from six wonderful creators! (See them in the right sidebar and by scrolling down to the Rewards section below.) There are limited slots to all of these, so get them while you can!
Day #16 announcement: A free Yellow Hearts mini artbook to all magazine subscribers! Like the Sunshine Boy bonus comic, if this Kickstarter succeeds, all Year 5 magazine subscribers will get a free digital download of the delightful little artbook Onaskellis: The Loneliest Demon. You can pledge to any Year 5 magazine tier to get it! Read more here.
Day #25 announcement: We're teaming up with Paper Star Studios again to release our second video game about angsty BL pop idols in love! Out of Sync: Crescendo will be an epilogue game in our Cherry Bomb line, which means that all Year 5 VIP members will get a free download of this brand-new, mature BL mini game! Read more here.
The goal of this Kickstarter is to release another 12 issues of the magazine, but here’s the best part - Sparkler stories come in a lot of different packages, depending on how you like to read. If you don't want to follow the serialized magazine chapters, we have complete ebooks! Hate reading on a screen? We also have paperbacks!
Some of our fantastic readers and creators are even offering special Kickstarter-exclusive bonuses, original art, and commissioned illustrations on certain reward tiers! (Stay tuned, because we'll be adding more of those over the course of this Kickstarter.)
But first, a few notes:
If you want to subscribe to our magazine without paying for a year’s membership up-front, or you want to download content without waiting for this Kickstarter to end, you can just buy a monthly billed membership or shop for items on our site. Check those out for cheaper, quicker gratification that still helps fund the magazine! (But keep in mind, Year 5 of the magazine will only happen if this Kickstarter reaches its goal.)
If you already have a Year's Membership to Sparkler but want to pledge here for Year 5, you’ll get credit for the overlapping months with a gift card to the Sparkler Shop once this Kickstarter ends. Contact us here or at email@example.com with any questions.
And here’s a handy visual of all your options for the ebook and/or paperback tiers in this Kickstarter:
And now, the rewards!
If we successfully fund 12 new Sparkler issues before this Kickstarter ends, we'll be able to aim for even greater heights: like pay raises for our creators, or even running SIX series in each issue instead of five?! Watch this space to get news about Stretch Goals as they unlock!
Risks and challenges
Sparkler has run nine successful publishing Kickstarters in the past, and Liane and Rebecca have managed more as freelancers for other publishers. Sparkler's hands-on, enthusiastic staff has mostly stayed the same as Year 4. 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
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