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MANGA MANIA IN FLEETWOOD

Students at Fleetwood High School have a thriving Japanese Manga Club which is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

The increasingly popular extra-curricular club takes place every week for an hour and a half after school on a Thursday, and is attended by pupils across the age and ability range. Teaching assistant Ms Debbie Wright, who founded the club, says, "It appeals to all year groups and all abilities and is becoming more and more student led as their interest in all things Japanese increases."

Manga originated in Japan in the 1930s, and has gained popularity all over the world in recent years. It is a type of animation which has a very distinctive style in which the eyes of characters are deliberately enlarged to emphasise emotion. As well as drawing and painting established characters, students are encouraged to create their own characters and stories. The group also watch Anime at the end of each term, beautiful Manga films.

The club have previously visited Comicon in Manchester. This is a comic convention which has come from the US. Students dress up in Cos Play outfits, which are costumes of their favourite comic characters, and which most students make themselves. This year's Comicon is coming to Blackpool Winter Gardens in September, and students are currently busy creating their costumes.

Student Abby Nixon's favourite character is Freddy Fazbear from Five Nights At Freddy's. She has designed her own costume for Blackpool Comicon, which has been changed from a bear animatronic to a human female outfit. She says, "He's my favourite character because he's mysterious and sneaky!"