Backers can get issue #061 here!
Backers can get issue #062 here!
Hi! We're the women behind Sparkler Monthly Magazine. After last year's successful Sparkler Year 5 Kickstarter (thank you so much for your generous pledges!), we're proud to say that we've finished a full five years of our digital magazine. Since 2013, we've published dozens of exciting, character-driven series in a variety of formats - comics, novels, audio, and games - with a special focus on the kinds of inclusive stories that teen girls and adult women want. Sparkler Monthly is for anyone interested in the explosion of fantastic diverse, feminist, and LGBT+ content happening right now in webcomics!
And we want to keep going. The webcomics sphere has grown so much bigger than when we started, and we want to keep supporting it - by publishing the promising work of new artists on the scene, by expanding the reach of existing independent creators, by hiring writers, artists, game devs, and production staff from our vibrant creative community. We want to create jobs the way we always have, because these are the people making the content we want to read!
Sparkler Monthly delivers a monthly burst of fun and FEELINGS to its readers - if you like one series in Sparkler, you'll probably like most of them, because we pick fun and addictive series that pair well together. Our fandom is a bustling community of readers and creators who love geeking out together. This is the fiction magazine we wish we had as teenagers.
Want more? So do we. Welcome to the Kickstarter for Sparkler Monthly Year 6!
Sparkler Monthly is an independent fiction magazine publishing stories for women, men, and non-binary readers in a wide variety of genres, but with a unifying viewpoint (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, often with updated or bonus content.
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 stories for the magazine!
Since the start of the magazine, we've always made a point to pay our creators, give them editors who are veterans in the comics industry, and release their work in a number of formats, all while ensuring they still own the copyright to their stories. And although we hire all genders, the majority of the Sparkler family is female - from the owners to the editors to the creators and staff - and we're proud that the female perspective is the norm here, rather than 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 Never Heroes, the reboot of the LGBT+ fantasy comic by Keezy Young. The thing is, they’re not kids anymore...
Loner, triplet, and conspiracy theorist Dahlton runs into the eccentric billionaire Cas in Moosopp’s hilarious LGBT+ slice-of-life comic A Call Away From Home. Dahlton soon becomes suspicious of Cas’ odd (but well-paid) requests… Is there something more alien to the rich man’s whims than meets the eye?
In the illustrated Boys’ Love novella The Jackson Lunta Snow Dance Song, junior hockey player Sammy is troubled by his attraction to his injured best friend Charlie. Then a mysterious new boy with a haunting beauty takes Charlie’s place on the team... Emily Compton and Onorobo’s modern tale of love, magic, and hockey is ending soon, and we plan to make it a paperback if Year 6 succeeds!
Check out our newly launched fantasy RPG play podcast, featuring magic school grads Antonia, Rosiel, and Maisie starting Witch Internships in a place that resembles, but is totally separate from, Renaissance Italy! But what's really in store for these three new witches? Nobody actually knows yet, because we'll be building the story as we go in Life’s a Witch so Roll a Die! (With illustrations by Angeline Mauri)
Tennis player Naomi finds herself torn between confronting her buddy Cairo about his frankly inconsiderate treatment and her wish to grow closer to his sister, Reham. Can she take a stand? In Amara Sherm’s sports/slice-of-life comic Null Point, sometimes the greatest competition takes place inside the heart.
What would the world feel like if you couldn’t connect with other people? How far would you go for a bond with another human being, and would you be able to come back? In the comic Firebird, Tacto employs classic shojo tradition to explore romantic drama - and darkness - through the power of piano and Russian ballet.
Kelly is the sweet new boy in town who quickly befriends Grey, the li’l punk next door, in Moosopp's charmingly comedic LGBT+/slice-of-life comic Sunshine Boy.
Readers of Eurika Yusin Gho's magical Boy's Love comic Magical How? regularly analyze the characters' questionable life choices (often in caps-lock)…and sometimes just cry over them a lot.
Heldrad's high school romantic comedy Orange Junk is a comic love letter to shojo about going from riches to rags and enemies to friends, all with lots of blushing and confused yelling!
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 so much more) are free to read online at sparklermonthly.com! And if the Kickstarter succeeds, we'll be running open submissions in October to hopefully expand our roster even further!
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 chapters 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 keep your downloads forever!
We have three 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, as well as all Member Exclusives.
- VIP: Everything in the normal membership, plus a free ebook download every month (a complete volume of a series, usually with bonus content), plus our entire steamy Cherry Bomb line recommended for ages 17+.
- Sparkler Ships: Like getting fun stuff in the mail? This membership gets you everything in the VIP membership, plus one of our paperbacks shipped to your door every month, allowing you to enjoy both digital and physical fiction to your heart's content! Note: to keep shipping costs down, we'll ship Canadian and international members their books every three months (New for Year 6!)
Upcoming VIP ebooks and Sparkler Ships paperbacks:
Sept 2018: Magical Month!
- VIP ebook: Mahou Josei Chimaka
- Sparkler Ships Paperback: Magical How Vol 1
Oct 2018: Spooky Month
- VIP ebooks: Gatesmith and DNA-RW
- Sparkler Ships Paperback: Dead Endings
Nov 2018: Kosen Month
- VIP ebook: Lettera Vol 1
- Sparkler Ships Paperback: Windrose Vol 1
Dec 2018: SO DANG PURE Month!
- VIP ebook: Before You Go (all three stories!)
- Sparkler Ships Paperback: Sunshine Boy Vol 1
Jan 2019: Modern Fantasy Month!
- VIP ebook: The Jackson Lunta Snow Dance Song
- Sparkler Ships Paperback: Tokyo Demons Book 1 (new edition)
Feb 2019: Just-Left-of-History Month
- VIP ebook: KaiJu Collection--Inhabitant of Another Planet and Ring of Saturn
- Sparkler Ships Paperback: Knights-Errant Vol 1
Already own some of these ebooks or paperbacks? We’ll give you a list of substitutions to choose from the month before they're sent out (or in your Kickstarter survey for Sept and Oct)!
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 and Sparkler Ships Members have unlimited downloads to the entire line, including anything we add during their membership!
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!
(Note: If you already have a Year's Membership to Sparkler but want to pledge here for Year 6, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
STRETCH GOALS PAST $20,000
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 and other exciting projects! Watch this space to get news about Stretch Goals as they unlock!
Risks and challenges
We've streamlined this year's Kickstarter to avoid problems we've run into in past fundraisers, and really focused on setting up tiers that we can fulfill quickly and simply. Considering the books and ebooks we have on hand and in production, those October and November delivery dates should be completely manageable.
As for the subscriptions, we've been running Sparkler for sixty issues and five years, so I hope we've proven that we can keep the magazine running no matter what happens. We're already making plans for well into 2019!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)