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 on TV, ‘The Deep Range’ and Jules Visit Video

After mentioning that the ‘Olga da Polga’ stories were coming to BBC TV they started last month. They are only based on the Michael Bond stories, these being written by Sara Daddy. The original books were illustrated by Hans Helweg and HERE is the link again and you will need to scroll down the page.

While scanning covers in what I call the ‘Blue Flash’ series of Science Fiction titles I noticed one of them was signed by Arthur Chales Clarke (Born 16/12/1917 in Minehead, Somerset and died 19/03/2008 in Colombo, Sri Lanka) It also had a inscription saying where and when it was signed but the memory of the recipient wasn’t 100% right as you’ll see if you click on the link HERE The rest of the ‘Blue Flash’ covers will be in next week’s blog.

If you haven’t seen Jules Burt’s videos then you’ve missed a treat. One of his latest was filmed when he visited Maurice Flangan at Zardoz Books which my wife and I visited in 2016. Click HERE to see this video. I’m still amazed at the quantity of paperbacks and have spent many a happy hour clicking on pause and rewind to scan the spines. I love that Australian artwork that appears at about 25 minutes and the David Tayler roughs at about 20 minutes shown above and below. PS Thanks for the website mention Jules.

PAN Artwork Video, Bond ‘White Covers’, David & Charles

I’m pleased to announce that Jules Burt’s fourth and final video he filmed when visiting me in September is now available. This looks at some of my original artwork from PAN and other publisher. Click on the image above, “sit back, relax and enjoy” and I hope you do as much as me.

Not sure if I’ve posted this before but here is a link to the James Bond ‘White Covers’ series from 1969 and 1972. I can remember scanning them in and putting them on a Facebook page but not in a blog. This was just after Mike VanBlaricum kindly provided me with a larger image of the original artwork for FYEO which now resides in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois . This artwork was one of the items sold at the Bonham’s auction in 1991.

I remember well the name David & Charles as in my youth I joined their book club. There was a great introductory offer then you had to buy one title a month for so long. I think a lot of those titles have now gone to National Trust secondhand bookshops in an unread condition. IN 1971/72 PAN reprinted about 23 of their titles and labelled them the ‘David & Charles Series’ Oddly one of the books lists ‘The West Highland Way’ as being by Turner and not Thomas. The following passage is from their website;
‘David and Charles was founded over 60 years ago on 1st April 1960 by David St John Thomas and Charles Hadfield in Newton Abbot, Devon. It became synonymous with books on Britain’s canals and railways and quickly became a leader in illustrated non-fiction, publishing across numerous categories. The ownership of the company has changed several times over the years. In July 2019, the current management team completed a buy-out of the business from the American company, F+W Media. David and Charles are now based in Exeter, Devon’

Ken Brown and PAN Horror Covers

Just one item this week but it’s a good one as we can now add another name to the roll of honour for designed four of the covers for the PAN Horror Books series.

Having recently been in communication with artist Sean Coleman he mentioned a friend of his, a fellow artist named Hogan Brown. Hogan’s father, Ken Brown, was responsible for designing some of the covers in the PAN Horror Series back in the 1960s. Unfortunately, Ken is no longer with us but I would like to say a big “Thank You” to Ken’s wife Ruth who sent me the following recollections.

Recollections of Ruth Brown

As far as I can remember…….

We had moved to our first “bought” house in Teddington 1967. It was a small modern house with a single open plan ground floor. (Relevant!)

My husband, Ken Brown, had joined the BBC as a graphic designer in 1964 when the in-house graphics department was formed, dealing with opening titles and promotional content for future programmes.

10 designers were recruited from various different disciplines – Ken came from the advertising agency J Walter Thompson, having trained as an illustrator at Birmingham College of Art.

As well as working 9 to 5 at the BBC, he also occasionally took on freelance work. He didn’t have an agent – it was usually through recommendation or word of mouth.

One such commission was to design the covers for the series of Pan Book of Horror Stories. Because of the day job, he did the designing and photographing of the covers at home, in the evening. I specifically specify the evening and not the weekend because by now we had a young son and the very nature of the content of the covers was obviously not particularly child friendly, so we had to make sure he was asleep! The sight of his father’s head swathed in bandages and smeared with blood might have damaged him for life

Then there was the head full of worms ….

…. the severed head in the hat box ….

…. and the wedding cake complete with dagger and dripping blood.

I think Ken sometimes borrowed things from a friend in the BBC props department (a serious misdemeanor) ……. I know he borrowed a cobweb device from there.

I don’t know where he got the rubber head from (he cut it open and added the worms) but it lived in the top of the wardrobe for several years after the “shoot”. And the wedding cake (made out of cardboard and plaster) was consigned to the garage.
It was all VERY low tech but great fun to do and enormously successful – hence the interest to this day.
I hope this adds some insight and is of interest.

PS. My son has grown up into a very nice, well-adjusted person ……… so no harm done!

Footnote from well-adjusted son Hogan

I found the wedding cake drying in the airing cupboard when I was a kid, which was a bit of a shock, I also kept the head with the worms for many years, though what happened to it I do not know.

Jules Video Number 3, ‘A Maggot’ and ‘Live And Let Die’

Pleased to find that Jules has now put up excellent video number three from when he visited in September. This one looks at PAN related ephemera such as point of sale material and catalogues that are just as interesting as the books themselves. Thanks Jules and happy to share these with fellow PAN Fans. Click on the image to see the video.

In 1986 John Robert Fowles (Born Leigh-on-Sea 31/03/1926 Died Lyme Regis 05/11/2005) returned to PAN after leaving them for Cape and Triad around the early 70s His return was announced in a 1986 highlights brochure which featured the cover from the Cape hardback cover of ‘A Maggot’ and not the PAN edition.

Having recently mentioned a pastiche cover of Live and Let Die’ which could fill in the gap in the ‘still life’ series of JB covers I was pleased to see a posting on another Facebook page for the same title. This showed a photo of Paul McCartney reading a copy of ‘Live and Let Die’ apparently just before he went on to write the theme to the film. Apologies to whoever posted it as I can’t find the comment for a name. Other editions are three numbered GP83, two as X233 and two with the ISBN 0330 102338