PAN Fans

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for

PAN Fans - Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for

15th Birthday, Jack Hayes and Barbara Cartland

We’re raising the flag to celebrate
the fact that
will be 15 years old tomorrow.


By Hayes, not for PAN but Hamlyn. the cover of ‘Flags’

Hanging on my wall for many years have been a couple of original covers by Jack Hayes, fortunately both signed, of two titles from the ‘Captain Blood’ series by Rafael Sabatini. This made me look to see how many other covers he painted for PAN and with the two already mentioned I make it seven.
One thing I have not managed to find out is any real details of his life, DoB, death etc. so if anyone can help?

Having succumbed to a mad ‘bulk buy’ of Barbara Cartland titles I am now up to 94, all scanned and bookmarked on the site but never again! I may see if I can find a few more to get to 100 but I don’t think I’m inclined to be a completest this time even if it meant I could find out if “A Kiss From A Stranger” was the only one with the PAN logo bottom right instead of top left like all the others so far!
NB With so many images on one page it does take a while to load!

‘The Best Of American Crime Fiction’ Series

hANDCUFFSFollowing on from my reference in the last blog to Hillary Waugh, who coincidently died on this day in 2008, I began to look out the covers with the same style as ‘Last Seen Wearing’ thinking there were probably only half a dozen but I eventually found 20. This may not be all as I found them by guess work and looking along the shelves. There may be some as variants on other covers than I’ve not discovered yet.  They are all labelled ‘The Best Of American Crime Fiction’ and have the stylised ‘handcuffs’ with a graphic in the middle. I’ve not found any with an artists name and look as though they were done by two or three different hands. I’ve put them all together on one page as several people have mentioned they like to see them like this rather than one at a time. As usual I look forward to hearing from anyone who can add to the list or help with artists.

Last Seen Wearing ……

Having returned late last night from a long but very cheap coach trip weekend away in Belgium (made even longer by 2 people having out of date passports only discovered on returning to the UK which now means the driver’s passport gets confiscated until sorted so we couldn’t leave them behind even though most people wanted to!) I realised I’d forgotten this weeks blog so bit shorter than usual. On the plus side we did get to see(?) the De Panne 19th Endurance cycle race on the beach in thick fog. It also had a second hand bookshop and I was pleasantly surprised to find four in Rochester when we called in for a couple of hours on the way down to Folkstone. Unfortunately couldn’t find anything I wanted to buy at a price I was willing to pay!

Last week I was moving books around and picked up a copy of “Last Seen Wearing” by Hillary Waugh and happened to glance at the back where there is a supposed memo to PAN from P.C. After racking my brains I came up with Peter Cheyney as fitting all the criteria and so contacted Adrian at his excellent Peter Cheyney site to see if he agreed. It was then that Adrian pointed out that Cheyney died in 1951 and the book was from 1960, maybe it just takes PAN along time to make decisions – nine years?

I cannot discover who the artists were for either of the variations of cover but the 64/66 variation is in a series and I have a scan of the original artwork for ‘The Neon Jungle’ but is listed as artist unknown. I presume the same artist did all of these so will check on the others.Neon Jungle X446This has inspired me to look at more back covers, something which is on my to do list plus scanning them and getting them on the site along with larger rescans of all the titles.

Douglas Adams Boxed Set

Just acquired an unread boxed set of the five titles in the ‘Hitch Hikers Guide’ trilogy which have facsimiles of the original covers. These were published in 2002 by TOR Books which is the science fiction/fantasy imprint of PAN Books. They have used the 79, 80, 82, 84 and 92 covers but as someone put on Amazon in their review “Bought this as a gift for someone. They were desperately disappointed, with the paperback cover images. They are so obviously a fake. It looks as if the person who created the cover images could not be bothered to do a decent job in scanning the original paperback covers. However, the content of the books. Brilliant. But why would you wish to buy a box set of the original paperback editions? To have the originals, or a very good copy of them. And this is a very poor copy of them” with which I have to agree.

They are all labelled ‘Commemorative Edition” which I took to mean commemorating a year since his passing but on checking it is actually 11 months! Any other suggestions?

DouglasAdamsGoldenPanDouglas Adams received ‘Golden PAN’ awards for the first three HHG titles.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

DoyleA TV crew are currently filming about a mile away from where I am at the moment working on a dramatisation of the book “Arthur and George’ by Julian Barnes although the location is supposed to be secret. Here’s a report in the local paper.
This has prompted me to sort out all the later (from about 1970) Conan Doyle titles from PAN with ISBN numbers as the earlier ones with PAN numbers are already on the site (100, 106177, 286, 333and Doyle linked GP20 ) plus the Harlequin/PAN Canadian edition of ‘The Lost World’

The later editions and titles can be found by clicking HERE or on Sir Arthur above.

PANI have also received a pile of PAN beer bits and pieces from Tomi in Croatia following on from my reference to it after visiting Croatia last month. I’ve added them to the page but I forgot to include the green opener in the picture so here it is!

Ian Miller

Every now and again I see a cover and there is just something about it that makes it stand out but I’m not always sure why. One such cover was the 1972 edition of ‘The Guardians Of Time’ by Poul Anderson. I know of three editions of this published by PAN, the 1964 having a cover by W Francis Phillipps but no idea for the 1977 edition. I only know the artist for 1972 after a Google search turned up a website showing the original artwork. Ian Miller was born in 1946 and grew up in London and Manchester. Between 1963 and 1967 he enrolled at Northwich School of Art, before embarking on a degree at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London, where he began to paint and graduating with honours in 1970. Miller’s earliest work included magazine and book jacket illustrations, including a host of illustrations for paperback titles. I am currently putting together a page of covers he produced for PAN, watch this space.Werewolf

Do I hear the “The Trumpet Major”?

Back in June we visited Thomas Hardy’s cottage in Higher Bockhampton, a hamlet in the parish of Stinsford (we also paid our respects at his grave in Stinsford churchyard) Unfortunately I couldn’t find any PAN’s lurking on shelves to add to my series of ‘PANs Spotted In Historic Buildings’ but I can add to my collection of photos of ‘Famous Toilets I’ve Sat On’HardysCottageHardy did not feature in PAN’s early booklists very often as I can only find PAN 268 “The Mayor of Casterbridge” from 1953 and PAN M207 “Far from the Madding Crowd” from 1967. PAN 268 has a cover by the elusive artist R Sax of whom very little appears to be known, can anyone help? As I’ve mentioned before I have a CD of over 500 examples of original PAN cover artwork and 23 of these are confirmed as Sax with several more listed as Sax? so I’ve made a page of those which are definitely his.

Later, in the days of ISBNs, PAN published “Tales from Wessex” as a TV tie-in in 1973 and “Tess of the D’Urbervilles” in 1979 as a film tie-in.

In 1978 they published eight of Hardy’s titles (images acquired from the net)


PAN also published accompanying Brodies Notes for most Hardy titles. Hardy11
FOOTNOTE – After contacting the CEO of the company hosting my WordPress blog in frustration to complain about the erratic loading speeds I actually got an email from him almost straight away telling me he was on holiday but passing on  my concern to a senior person. I later got a call from him to apologise and since then things seem better so fingers crossed.


Signed Copies

While sorting through a pile of ‘special’ duplicates (ones that are not good enough for the shelf but have something to make me keep them) I’d forgotten the 3
Charles Chilton signed titles I’d bought on eBay last year. They came with a photo of Charles Chilton holding ‘The World In Peril’ when he was interviewed by the BBC for a programme of which I can find no record – does it ring a bell with anyone?



Eric Malpass, who died 18 years ago last week, had three of his books published by PAN ‘Morning’s At Seven’, ‘At The Height Of The Moon’ and Fortinbras Has Escaped The first two titles were very popular in Germany where they were both made into films with music by James Last.


One book that has been on my shelf for quite a while is ‘I Owe Russia $1200′ which cost me 50p and is a bargain as it has been signed by Bob Hope (!) I could believe that a charity shop would not think it genuine (if they actually spotted it) but having looked at other samples of his signature I’m not ruling it out as apparently he was a prolific signer.

Tenuous PAN Links in Croatia

Just returned from a couple of weeks in Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia and Montenegro and while I was there I was looking for PAN connections and offer these three very tenuous ones on this page. panbeerThe first is just because of the name while the other two have character links. I shall be sampling the beer very soon in my PAN glass given to me by the café owner in Lovran.
Croatia and especially Dubrovnik are really fantastic places to visit. We had an interesting day in Dubrovnik as they were filming “Game of Thrones” series 5. Everyone was trying to get a good look and being shouted at by security guards saying ‘No photos, no photos’  (Apparently we didn’t see the best bit as it was the day before when they filmed Cersei Lannister made to walked naked through the streets – ooops sorry – plot spoiler) The following day we went to Montenegro and so missed the four huge cruise ships disgorging their 10, 000 or so passengers for a couple of hours in the medieval streets of the walled old town!

……. and finally I couldn’t leave the Novetel Brussels without letting them enjoy  ‘probably the best PAN paperbacks website in the world!”




Updates Today

Having been away in Croatian for the last two weeks I’m glad to see the schedules I set up to publish the blogs each Monday while away seems to have worked.

There are five pages which have been updated this morning from books that came during that time;

1) I have scanned another couple of Carbara Cartland covers which currently stands at 42 out of 125 and I will add more as I come across them.

2) I have managed to find a PAN copy of the Frank Yerby title “The Treasure of Pleasant Valley” and have added that to the page of other Yerby covers.

3) Back in 2102 I visited the building that was once used as a despatch centre by PAN. David the owner said they were going to have it clad in aluminium so I’m grateful to my agent Martin in West Molesey for taking a photo that I’ve now added to the page. Improvement?

4) While looking for information of Val Biro I came across this in ‘The Telegraph’: “There was great rejoicing some months ago when it emerged that House of Stratus was to republish the complete set of Anthony Buckeridge’s Jennings novels. The first batch of three, though, hasn’t met with the author’s complete approval. Specifically, he hates the covers. “Jennings looks fat and shapeless, like a little gargoyle,” he says. “They completely missed the essence of what 11-year-old boys are like.” Buckeridge would have preferred to see the new books illustrated by Val Biro, the Hungarian-born illustrator who worked on the original books. “It came down to money,” he says, “and Stratus ended up using an in-house illustrator.” Even though it’s not PAN I’ve added an example of a Val Biro Jennings cover to his page

5) Not PAN but Panther. I spotted a scrawl on the bottom of a Panther title on eBay which I thought look like the top of the name Derek A Stowe. I then found another copy on an Australian booksellers site (which would have cost me 12 times what I paid with the postage they were asking) with a photo which confirmed it was a Stowe. This just shows how carefully you have to look at covers to find signatures as they were often removed in the trimming process.

“Bamboo, Rice and Seaweed” Panther 778 1958