Right now, Sparkler Monthly, an American manga-inspired comics anthology magazine put out by Chromatic Press is having it’s two-year membership drive. If you follow my Twitter, you’ll know I was blowing it up last night talking about how important it is for American artists with an anime-aesthetic to support publishers that actually publish OEL manga and American anime inspired comics.
Some of my favorite American artists got their start in TokyoPop’s Rising Stars of Manga contest, and these were the artists I looked up to when I decided to go into comics myself. Unfortunately for me, TokyoPop had sorta fouled the water with abusive contracts and poor marketing, so when it went under, nobody wanted to publish OEL or anime-inspired comics. This meant that many artists with an anime influenced style who weren’t already published had difficulty attracting paying comic work, especially since manga-inspired styles developed a stigma as being a ‘copycat’ of Japanese manga, rather than taking influence from. Many artists still find it difficult to find professional work, and many have difficulty finding receptive publishers for their pitches. In my opinion, this is why it’s so important to support a publication like Sparkler and a publisher like Chromatic Press.
This is a publisher that actively publishes OEL manga and manga inspired comics. This is a publisher that publishes comics aimed at women and girls specifically. At Chromatic Press, we aren’t a happy bycatch. We’re the intended audience.
Maybe you’re an American artist with an anime influenced style who’s never had difficulty finding work, finding an audience, paying the bills utilizing the style you’ve cultivated over the years. You’ve never doubted that your audience will find your work, since your reach was extended with the aid of influential friends or a publisher to promote your work. Maybe you don’t personally need a publication like Sparkler to exist for you to make ends meet, you don’t need it as a professional goal. Perhaps you’ve never had difficulty gaining the respect of your peers, and people have always taken you seriously as a comic artist.
You should still consider supporting Sparkler in order to check out talent, new and old. You should consider signal boosting their Membership Drive Tweets and posts, to introduce your own fans to this publication and to the artists within.
If Sparkler doesn’t gain enough new members, if Chromatic Press doesn’t see enough sales, they’ll fold just like many of the other publishers who’ve focused on OEL manga. They wont fold because of a lack of talent, skill, or drive, but because they didn’t get enough support. Not enough people know about Sparkler Magazine, not enough aspiring creators realize what it’s taken artists like myself years to realize- the market you enjoy as a professional stems from the market you supported while still learning. If you enjoy manga inspired comics, like OEL manga, or want to see more American shoujo comics, you should support Sparkler in any way you can.
Reblog the hell out of this! Go support them! I recently got a one year subscription! Even just a one month trial means a lot.