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

‘Olga da Polga’, Pearl Buck and later PAN Majors from Jules.

Having watched eight PUFFIN Easy Readers for ‘Olga da Polga’ on eBay in the States start at $400 and slowly going down in price with each listing I eventually bit the bullet when it got to $50. What made them attractive was that they are all signed by author Michael Bond. Although I already had seven with artwork by Hans Helweg there was one very elusive title listed on other sites from £45 to over £100 and not even signed. What also made up my mind was winning £50 on the Premium Bonds so how could I not buy them!

Returning to Hans Helweg’s sketches and original artwork this weeks selection is ‘The Three Daughters of Madam Liang’ by Pearl Buck. “After her husband takes a concubine, Madame Liang sets out on her own, starting an upscale restaurant and sending her daughters to America to be educated. At the restaurant, the leaders of the People’s Republic wine and dine and Madame Liang must keep a low profile for her daughters’ sake. ……..” As far as I can tell PAN only published the one edition in 1972 which is unusal for a Buck title,

Recently Jules Burt has completed his reveiw of the later PAN Majors from M101 to M274 in one of his very informative videos.. To view it on YouTube click HERE and if you missed the previous one covering numbers M1 to M100 then click HERE,

Interestingly the covers for both the 1959 and 1969 edions of ‘Not As A Stranger‘ are by Hans Helweg.

TOTEM Books, Sir Clive Sinclair and Richard Chopping plus Exhibition

I’ve been trying to obtain titles that were published by PAN but reprinted in Canada by TOTEM Books often with the same artwork on the cover. All the tiles from TOTEM, a Collins Publishers company, are either set in Canada or the author was Canadian. The problem is they were sold mainly in Canada so I started tracking them down last January from dealers over there with some arriving in weeks while some took months. I now have all the ones I ordered but I would still love to see if ‘Bomb Run’ by Spencer Dumore, published by PAN and TOTEM have the same artwork like most of the others by

It was sad to hear the news of the death of Sir Clive Sinclair at the age of 81. It was thanks to his ZX80 computer kit I took my first step on the IT ladder which resulted in me ending up as ‘IT Advisor’ for an education authority. PAN got in on the act but not until the Spectrum came along. I still remember the day the C5 appeared in the window of our Midlands Electricity Board showrooms. We went to look and the patronising salesman said “Would the little girl like to sit in it? with a smarmy smile. Well, he soon lost his smile when he realised that the keys were in, turned on and our four year old could press the accelerator demolishing the cardboard display on the way across the floor.

After last weeks unexpected ‘trip’ I’ve not managed to give as much time as I would like to the exhibition of Richard Chopping’s work at Salisbury Museum. I have put together a page HERE of assorted photos, not only mine but also from Matthew Dewhurst-Grice who posted on a Facebook page after his visit. PAN only published ‘The Fly’ written by Chopping for which he painted the cover plus ‘The Manchurian Candidate’ by Richard Condon.

Pat Owen, ‘Chopping’ in Salisbury and ‘The Bondmaid’,

I was really pleased to hear from Sue, Pat Owen’s wife, last week who has very kindly sent me some details of Pat’s life plus three photographs one of which is fantatsic as it shows the artist at work on a PAN cover. I think there may be another PAN on the far right in it which looks vaguely familiar. I’ve added these to Pat’s page listing his covers which can be seen HERE or by clinking on the Artists tab at the top of the main website page. 

I thought this was what I was going to write “After visiting to Salisbury last week  I managed to get to the Richard Chopping  Exhibition at the Museum as it is due to close at the beginning of October, the exhibition that is not the Museum!” Fortunately I did get to the exhibition, more on that next week, but my Salisbury trip was not quite what I was expecting as walking down some uneven steps I missed on and ended up with a fractured hip, ironically at a bookshop!. I would like to congratulate Salisbury Hospital on the very efficient service with only 21 hours between slip and back on the ward with a new hip. No complaints about the food, plenty of fresh salad and fruit., I’ve put on half a stone but maybe the new joint is heavy?

This weeks artwork by Hans Helweg again is the double page spread for the Pearl Buck title The Bondmaid published twice by PAN. Unfortunately all the parts from the back are no longer there.

‘Dragon Seed’, Miss Marple and Philately.

This weeks artwork and sketches from Hans Helweg are for another Pearl Buck title, namely ‘Dragon Seed’ I photographed the original artwork in Hans studio and was really pleased to find a preliminary painting for it in the folders I was given.

I was also pleased to hear from ‘James Bond’ aficionado Robin Harbour about another PAN book he spotted that once appeared on the silver screen. This time the film was ‘Murder Ahoy’ by Agatha Christie starring Margaret Rutherford but it wasn’t just one but several shelves full but the book Miss Marple takes off the shelf isn’t a PAN or even a real title!

PAN have never been into collecting postage stamps ‘big time’ but HERE are a couple of books  that might be useful to those who do as a hobby. Looking through the catalogue it almost, but not quite, makes me think of taking up collecting again. One day I might get around to listing all the PAN cover artists who also did stamps like Brian Sanders and Yvonne Gilbert. As for a contived link to PAN and stamps will this UK 2002 issue surfice?