PAN Fans Club

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

PAN Fans Club - Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

Maurice at Zardoz and more Leslie Thomas

I’d like to say a very big ‘Thank you’ to Maurice Flanagan (and his wife) of Zardoz Books for the time and hospitality he gave my wife and I last Monday and Tuesday. We called round at his house where we saw all of his David Tayler roughs for PAN book covers plus dozens of other artworks for numerous publishers. After tea and biscuits we followed Maurice to the ‘secret location’ of his very large book warehouse stuck at the end of a lane in a delightful rural location. We parked up and spent the night of the summer solstice in Maurice’s field by his ‘man cave’ next to the warehouse. My only regret was the next day when Maurice reminded me as to how close we actually were to Stonehenge at this auspicious time, I could have gone and relived my hippy youth!
Spent so long looking at books that I forgot to take many photos but here is a montage of a few.


Top left – The man himself, Maurice Flanagan.
Middle Top – A poor photo showing a Tayler rough that was censored on the actual book cover – no blood!
Top right – Even my wife was fascinated by the amount of books.
Bottom left – A PAN display stand
Bottom right – Another PAN display stand
Middle – Something I just have to agree with.
Bottom middle – Parked up in brilliant sunshine after rain all the way down.

After showing the 12 Leslie Thomas covers by Paul Davies I found three from around the same time but with a squiggle by the drawing on the cover which I eventually twigged was G S for Glenn Steward. The picture on the front at the top continues over to the bottom on the back. I thought I’d be clever and join the two halves together not realising a large part must have been trimmed off so I’ve ‘recreated’ the missing bits. See them HERE

Finally I’m not usually into politics but I’d like to go on record as saying I voted to join the EU 40 years ago and now I’ve voted to remain in it. Just to say when it all goes horribly wrong it was nothing to do with me (if it doesn’t I’ll just keep quiet!)

From the Cradle to the Grave

We recently went to see the unveiling of a bust of celebrated author Jerome K Jerome who was born in Walsall in 1859 and lived there for almost two years before his fathers business collapsed and they moved to London. He rarely came back but in 1926 was made a Freeman of the Borough. He died the next year but I don’t think there is a connection!

I have included him as I am not only a PAN Fan but also of Jerome and have a large collection of his works and in fact one of his stories ‘The Dancing Partner’ appears in PAN X71 ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’

JKJThe chairman of the Jerome K Jerome Society, Tony Grey, is on the left and the bust was unveiled by local lad Jeffrey Holland on the right.

So from the birth of JKJ to a trio of books about the other end of life, ‘Famous Last Words’, ‘A Small Book of Grave Humour’ and ‘Dead Funny, Another Book of Grave Humour’ The latter two are rare examples of shaped books as I was told it was very expensive to do die cutting. Other examples are James Bond titles like the bullet holes in ‘Thunderball’ and the film strip on “From Russia With Love’

Off down to Wiltshire this week to meet up with Maurice Flanagan at Zardoz Books, report next blog

North American content with Dan McGirt and Mazo de la Roche.

Just a couple of things this week as the weather has been too nice to be sitting in front of a computer.

FantasyI picked up a book by a US author I have to confess I’d never heard of, Dan McGirt (sorry Dan) but the cover looked vaguely familiar. Was PAN trying to cash in on a considerably more well know author writing books of a similar genre? Click HERE to see if you agree.

While scanning the covers and looking at the spines I was reminded of the fact PAN had a whole series of different logos, this one fantasy, for different subjects in the 90’s. I once found a page with them all on but can I find it now …..! Maybe next week.

It was only while restacking books after the cat had a narrow escape from a collapse that I noticed in the early 1970’s series of Jalna titles, linked to the Canadian TV series, that some were printed in the UK and some in Canada. I’ve not got enough duplicates to hand to see if all 16 were printed in both countries or whether it was a case of some here and some there? Something to investigate in the future. I also noticed that although all the Canadian editions were printed by Ronalds-Federated Ltd there are 4 different printers for the UK editions.


The edition of ‘The Master of Jalna’ is dedicated to Hugh Walpole who was a very good friend of  Alan Bott, founder of PAN Books and has been mentioned previously, Walpole dedicated at least two of his publications to Bott.


Hilary Hayton and ‘Doris the Cat’

PlayThe opening title for ‘Play School’: was created by Hilary Hayton in 1964 who established a team dedicated to contributing graphic design. illustration and animation to BBC TV Children’s Programmes.Tipps




In the 70’s Hilary created ‘Crystal Tipps and Alistair’ resulting in  50 x 5 minute animated films and the publishing of 10 Crystal Tipps books and two annuals.




In 1982 Hilary started her own animation studio to produce ‘Doris’ which was a series commissioned by ITV and based on her ‘Doris’ books published earlier that year by Piccolo. A second  series followed with 40 x  5 minute films and 13 more ‘Doris’ books but not published by Piccolo.


April1950Following on from last week I’m still puzzled by the apparent mind reading antics of websites. Why did eBay offer me a copy of Tit-Bits from 1950 with an article about the off-side rule by Jimmy Hagan? Did it scan my brain and found that in fact we lived next door to Jimmy Hagan in the 1960’s when he was manager of West Bromwich Albion football club as the club owned the house. Apparently he often entertained well  known football persomalities such as Don Revie, Tommy Docherty and Jeff Astle there but all I remember is shooting the gnomes in their garden with an air rifle belonging to their son – ah – happy times!

PS I have emailed Hilary Hayton but no response so far.