PAN Fans

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for

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

PANs in Film etc.

bfi_logo_transp[1]Save Lunch SmallI think, from his Facebook posts, Johnny Mains is working his way through the British Film Institute catalogue. He let me know about one I’d not heard of namely “Lunch Hour” starring Shirley Anne Fields. In one of the scenes she is in a post office where there are a couple of shelves of PAN titles plus a carousel with some more. I started to try and list them all but then thought I’d get a life  instead. I did eventually work out the one in the carousel is “The Devil Never Sleeps by Pearl Buck. Click here to see a few more screen captures and feel free to make your own list.

Since I put on the page of Pamela Belle covers last week I’ve had a reply from artist  Fred Gambino in the States and he is going to see if he can find the original artwork he painted for the 1994 edition of ‘Silver City’ Fingers crossed.

photo[3]I’ve also heard back from Mike Pretty who gives an interesting insight into Raplh Vernon-Hunt amongst the following;
Yes, still working for the Eden Project, though thanks to the wonders of modern technology I’m working for them in Australia, having married again, this time to a Sheila.
I worked at Pan from 77-82, running Picador, reporting to Sonny Mehta. (I previously worked at Jonathan Cape, and Sonny claimed he hired me because I was presumably able to cope with Tom Maschler, which he couldn’t. I like to think I had other talents, though!) I knew Ken Hatherley, and other people you have mentioned, like George Sharp and Peter Tietjen (I remember him turning himself into Zaphod Beeblebrox for the launch of Hitchhikers Guide and blowing up his second head!). Also Dave Larkin, John Marsden, Jacqui Graham, Gary Day-Ellison, Geoff Mulligan etc etc. Expect I’ll be able to dredge up a few more names if I try hard, but it was over 30 years ago…
Ralph Vernon-Hunt was still MD while I was there. He had a disconcerting habit of farting loudly during meetings as I recall…he once called me a poof because I was wearing red shoes!
I was lured away from Pan to work with Carmen Callil at Chatto & Windus, but that’s another story.
I confess my interest in Pan books themselves these days wanes around the mid-60s, my youth in other words. In recent years I have amassed quite a collection of Pans (including a lot I bought the first time round, particularly the war books). I’ve even found a few in Oz, although the climate isn’t kind to cheap paperbacks, what with the heat, the damp and the termites.
I find your site most enjoyable.

Cheers, and more power to your blog.
Thanks for the kind words Mike.

Pamela Belle

PamelaPamela Belle was born in Ipswich on June 16th 1952. From the  Goodreads website;
“Belle always wanted to be an author and wrote her first book at the age of twelve after visited the site of a lovely Elizabethan manor house called Rushbrooke and observing the bare, moated island which was all that was left. She wanted to bring Rushbrooke back and chose to do so in print. Over the next few years ‘The Epic’, as it became known, grew and grew. Belle drew up a huge family tree and a plan of the house very like Rushbrooke.
Married and a teacher of a class of six-year-olds, she wrote in longhand and, while publishers made encouraging noises, no one was prepared to risk publishing a large book by an unknown author. Eventually the agent Vivienne Schuster was wonderfully enthusiastic about it and found a publisher.
“The Moon in the Water” and its two sequels were published in the UK and the USA with considerable success. Belle gave up teaching in 1985 to spend more time researching and writing. She plans to write a book about Alfred the Great if she can fit it in between looking after the children, dogs, cats and husband”
I’ve put together a page of covers showing the 11 titles published by PAN with a couple of variants. Interestingly the first two have covers by Stephen Bradbury so I’ve added them to his page plus ‘The Wind from the Sun’ by Arthur C. Clarke as this is also one of his.

I’ve attempted to contact Kevin Tweddle who painted some of the Belle covers plus many more for PAN. He retired to run a pub so if I don’t get a reply I think a visit is called for. I have also emailed Mark Viney without success so far but I do occasionally strike lucky and I am now in communication with an artist who painted Jack Higgin’s covers. More in a later blog.

Just as a tail note we recently stayed at the hotel built on the site of my Great Great Great Grandfather’s second hand bookshop where his son hung himself in 1903. I was chatting to one of the staff and casually asked if she had seen any ghosts to which she replied “No but I sometimes feel as if someone is standing behind me when I’m was in the basement” It was in the basement that Charles hung himself!

Juliette Benzoni etc.

JulietteJuliette Benzoni was born Andrée-Marguerite-Juliette Mangin in Paris on October the 30th 1920. She is probably most well know for her ‘Catherine’ and ‘Marianne’ series of novels published by PAN.
I will get around to rescanning the ‘Catherine titles soon but I have scanned the ‘Marianne at a higher resolution. I have also included the PAN edition of ‘The Lure of the Falcon’ on that page. There were four titles in this series featuring Gilles Goelo but this was the only one published by PAN. ‘The Devil’s Diamonds’ was published in English by Sphere but the last two titles ‘The Treasure’ and ‘Haunte-Savanne’ were not translated into English.

After mentioning Christopher Wood and ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ last week I received the following comment from Mike Pretty “A little Christopher Wood footnote for you. I used to work for Jonathan Cape (and Pan, but that’s another story) and I edited The Spy Who Loved Me for publication. I can’t remember why, but it was decided that the girl who was going to be eaten so graphically by a shark needed a name. I was about to get married, so I inserted my fiancee’s maiden name just as a placeholder until we talked about it. Wood wasn’t bothered either way, so in she stayed. Luckily Kate was amused!” Mike married Kate Chapman who sadly died all too young of cancer.

…. and finally I’ve added another cover ‘A Prayer For The Dying’ to George Sharps page who gave me this snippet regarding the model when I ask if he was the same one he also used for ‘Six Fingered Stud and the Bodie covers “Yes, Tim, that’s Niall Reidy from the ‘Ugly’ agency. I gave him the original painting of him being the horny slave master with an adoring sex slave hugging his thigh – to hang in his lavatory. He became a close pal before he disappeared to live in Australia. Niall was a giant of a man who used to pick me up and hug me as if I was a child. Naill was fun. The best-looking ‘ugly’ model I ever met”

Bits and Pieces

As a couple of titles ordered have not arrived yet I’m making a miscellany this week.

FlemingGF[1]I see ‘Ian Fleming;  A Personal Memoir’ by Robert Harling came out recently. I presume this is to cash in on ‘Spectre’ as Harling died in 2008. Harling was not only an author but also a typographer and designed the ‘Tea Chest’ font which is probably most well know from the Richard Chopping covers for Bond titles such as ‘Goldfinger’

PAN published four of Robert Harling’s novels over the years which were ‘The Paper Palace’, ‘The Enormous Shadow’, ‘The Endless Colonnade’ and ‘The Hollow Sunday’

TheSpyWhile on the Bond theme and not quite PAN but Panther I’ve only just found out Christopher Wood died this year. He wrote the novelisation of the films of ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ and ‘Moonraker’ published by Panther. Just to be different here is the Dutch edition of TSWLM published by Bruna. It was only this week though that I discovered he wrote the ‘Confessions of …..’ books as Timothy Lea. I have to ‘confess’ that I do have a complete set of this series as they are supposedly set around here in the Midlands and I like the local references, well that’s my excuse anyway!

Another author published by PAN also died last month, namely presenter, newsreader and novelist Gordon Honeycombe. He wrote several books but only one ‘Neither The Sea Nor The Sand’ was published in 1971 by PAN.

Couple of page updates, another cover for ‘The King’s General’ added to the Daphne du Maurier page. This is the 1982 cover by ? and I can’t believe I’d missed it but then again it is very similar to the 1974 version. Thanks to my sister for that one.

I’ve added another cover added to the Derek Stowe page for a Panther numbered 565 from 1956 ‘Land Beyond the Law’ If anyone knows any other Panther or PAN covers by Derek that aren’t on his pages please let me know as Derek doesn’t have a list of his work.

….. and finally I was amused at a description on eBay for ‘Quick and Easy Chinese Cooking’ by Ken Low published by PAN in 1973 where under condition it says “page edges browned’ Now I’ve heard of cooking the books but …..!

E R Eddison / Barbara Remington

EREEric Rücker Eddison (24/11/1882 – 18/08/1945) is probably best known for his early romance ‘The Worm Ouroboros’ (1922) and for three volumes set in the imaginary world of Zimiamvia, known as the Zimiamvian Trilogy: ‘Mistress of Mistresses’ (1935), ‘A Fish Dinner in Memison’ (1941), and ‘The Mezentian Gate’ (1958). Born in Leeds, Eddison was privately educated before going  to Oxford and ended up a senior civil servant eventually retiring to write full time.

All these four titles were originally published by Ballantine in the US/Canada  with covers by Barbara Remington before being reprinted by PAN/Ballantine in the UK. It’s interesting to note the overprinting where prices and US book numbers have been covered up. I’ve put together a page to show some of the PAN/Ballantine variations I have on my shelves.

BRBarbara Remington is probably better know for the Ballantine covers for Tolkein’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. She is quoted as saying she would have ‘definitely drawn different pictures had I read the books first’ not being able to get hold of copies prior to painting the covers! This is a question I’m often asked ‘Did the artists read the books first’ to which the answer seems to be ‘Very rarely’ not being given enough time, just a précis,  although PEFF said he did.

I see the original concept artwork for the cover of ‘The Fellowship of the Rings’ is currently on eBay at £14,395.50, a poster as seen in this picture for £1,51.37 and a boxed set of the books just like the ones I got for £9.99  are listed at £238.87! The three covers are designed to make a panorama so why is it that so many images showing the three in line are not in the right order?

Derek Stowe Artwork

Having been in Norfolk for a few days means I’ve slipped behind with todays blog so here is a quick stop gap, back to normal(?) next week.

Quite a while ago I spotted a piece of original artwork which I recognised but it was credited incorrectly. It was supposedly by David Stowe, landscape artist and purported to be a S/F video cover from the 1980’s. In fact it was by PAN book cover artist Derek Stowe and it was the front cover of issue 88 of ‘Understanding Science’ from 1962. As the price was reasonable I bought it, emailed Derek about it and he was amazed as he thought all the artwork was held in captivity by publishers Sampson Low.

As a glutton for punishment I have started to scan in all 144 front covers from ‘Understanding Science’ which I picked up at a very cheap price but then had to pay over three times what I paid for them for carriage! I was surprised to see they were the rarer first printings and all in binders which is why it will take time to scan, they don’t want to come out willingly.

‘The Maltese Falcon’ plus ….. assorted rodents!

While looking at the different book covers PAN produced for Dashell Hammett’s ‘The Maltese Falcon’ over several years I was reminded that the 1951 edition had a cover by Philip Mendoza. Surprisingly Mendoza was also the artist for the ‘Gulliver the Guinea Pig’ comic strip in the Playhour comic from the 50’s/60’s. GGThis made me search out some original artwork I had from Playhour but mine features ‘Harry Hamster’ and is by either Peter Woolcock or Colin Wyatt who both drew Harry. PlayhourThis 1961 Annual frontispiece above shows Harry with Sammy Stoat and Wally Weasel. The ability to turn ones hand to whatever pays is something I really admire about a lot of the artists who painted covers for paperbacks be it coins, stamps, corporate brochures or even wine bottle labels!Image1
I have found six different covers for ‘The Maltese Falcon’ including the film edition and one as a Hammett omnibus from Picador. Other PAN titles with covers by Mendoza include ‘The Great Impersonation’ by Phillip Oppenheim, ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ by H Ryder Haggard, ‘Valley of Fear’ by Arthur Conan Doyle and ‘Towards Zero’ by Agatha Christie.
Footnote  Unfortunately Peter Woolcock was knocked down and killed by a car in Bermuda last December but I’ve emailed Colin Wyatt so hopefully may have an answer to the burning question of the moment “Who painted Harry?”
Update Just had a fantastically fast and very informative response to my email from Colin in which he says;
Dear Tim,
Thanks for your interesting email.  The artwork on the attachment you sent was done by Peter Woolcock. It was originally done as a black and white strip in Playhour sometime in the late 1950’s,  but then coloured at a later date and reprinted.  Peter did a lot of work for the young children’s comics for IPC at that time. This included  Willow Wood, a two page strip in Playhour that featured  Harry Hamster. . My first ‘Harry On His Own’ strip for Playhour was done in October 1960. I was member of the art staff on Playhour at the time, and  I continued to do the strip on and off for several years. (I still have the original artwork for that first strip.)
You are right, Phil Mendoza was the original artist on Gulliver Guinea Pig, and he was superseded by an artist named Gordon Hutchings who did some truly marvelous artwork.
Your website sounds really interesting so good luck with it.
Very best wishes,
Update Just had an email from Colin, since reading this blog, to say Peter Woolcock also painted ‘Gulliver the Guinea Pig’ and in fact the example I used was one by Peter and not Philip but since then I’ve done a recheck on sources and found a site that says it is by Gordon Hutchings!

Angelique on Film

I recently managed to buy a copy of the UK film poster for ‘Angelique: Marquise of the Angels’ which shows two Pan book covers. After looking for this item for a long time I found one at a price I was willing to pay, one site was asking £299!Angelique

The original film was directed by Bernard Borderie and was a French production released there in 1964 and the UK version was released in 1967. Below are the two PAN editions featuring stills from the film as on the poster plus one other showing a different film still.

“The Marquise of the Angels” (T51) is dated 1968, after the release of the film in the UK, but “The Road to Versailles” (T52) is dated 1966 prior to the UK release. The third book is another copy of “The Road to Versailles” (330 30052 0) which is dated 1968. The first two titles both say the 1964 film is based on the books ‘The Marquise of the Angels’ and ‘The Road to Versailles” The other one doesn’t although the credited actors on the front are from the 1965 film “Angelique: The Road to Versailles”

A Walk on the Wold Side + Two Mystery Artworks

Lovely weather for our third outing walking along the “Yorkshire Wolds Way” where we have actually reached and just passed the half way marker. At this rate it will be 2018 before we finish but might just decided to go all out and finish it next year.
Why is it that signs always seem to be pointing uphill?

I’ve added this photo of Gavin Rowe who did several Piccolo covers but we have no idea if the artwork he is holding was actually used in a book. We have the Facebook members of Jane Badger Books helping but no luck so far, any ideas?GavinRowe
… and as promised last week an unknown artwork which was a free gift from Eileen Strange last summer included when I bought several others off her. I’m  sure I’ve seen it before but it just won’t come to mind. Any one help?Mystery

Alan Cracknell Again

CracknellI’ve come to the end of the identifiable artwork I bought in the summer with this weeks example being from Alan Cracknell.  I’ve one left that is still proving a mystery as I’m sure I recognise it from somewhere but no even a near guess so far. I’ll include it next week just in case someone can help to identify it.

BlytonTodays painting features a title that seems to cause consternation amongst the more vociferous bloggers and tweeters and appears to be on a par with Christie’s “Ten Little Niggers” and is “The Three Golliwogs” by Enid Blyton. I don’t feel the need to apologise for what happened in the past, these titles were of their time and although some have been changed over the years they are what they were.

MayfairI’ve added the artwork to Alan’s page and included a few more non PAN examples of his work included some from men’s magazine ‘Mayfair’ which  I was ‘forced’ to look at to find artwork! (I think he did paintings for four editions) plus the cover of a children’s cookery book. I’ve still not heard back from Alan so either I’ve got the wrong one or, and I find this hard to believe, he just doesn’t want to talk to me. I do have the last resort namely a phone number so maybe next month. Off to do part 3 of our annual Wold’s Way Walk tomorrow then it will be 45 miles down, 45 to go.