VISITORS to a North-East museum can take a nostalgic flick through the history of British comics at an exhibition opening today.

The Museum of Hartlepool is staging an exhibition featuring more than 100 comics and annuals, including many forgotten titles.

The items on display range from a 1928 Happy Days through to a 2002 Dandy. There are also examples of the Beano, Chips, Eagle, Film Fun and others.

They are all from the collection of Hartlepool cartoonist Keith Robson, who worked for the Dandy and the Beano and is currently a freelance illustrator.

Also on show are some of Mr Robson's original drawings, including Jonah from the Dandy, plus a display charting the process of producing a comic page from script to finished art work.

Mr Robson said: "Reading a comic was a very individual experience - you felt that the comic had been written just for you.

"Every page was hand-drawn by the artist, rather than designed by a computer, and their personality really came through.

"If you were a kid in the 1950s, you had dozens of comics to choose from, and swapping them with your friends once you had read them was quite a social thing.

"Sadly, the Beano and the Dandy are among the few comics left now.

"A lot of them folded in the mid-1980s, when there was the rise of play stations, computer games and children's television channels."

The exhibition runs until Sunday, September 2.

The museum is open every day, from 10am to 5pm, and entry is free.