PAN Fans

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for www.tikit.net

PAN Fans - Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for www.tikit.net

Alan Cracknell and Julek Heller

I was hoping to feature the alternative PAN logos June sent me but what with recovering from over indulging at my son’s wedding plus the arrival of the builders who are working in the pouring rain things have been a bit hectic time wise. The plus side is that the building work is all part of our grand plan which includes two conservatories, a proper roof and lantern windows on the garage, bi-fold doors on the end giving access from one of the conservatories which will then enable me to start work on my ‘man cave/library’ I want to order the 700 feet of bookshelves but my wife says not yet. Very frustrating!

I mentioned trying to contact Alan Cracknell but hadn’t had a reply. This is probably because I had the wrong Alan Cracknell so Alan in Brighton – sorry for probably confusing you. The real Alan lives near Winchester and I tracked him down as he made the local newspapers and the BBC News when he was indulging in his hobby of metal detecting and found a bronze ring.¬† Alan doesn’t use the internet, a wise choice, but replied to my letter with one of his own plus some cards showing examples of his work which I’ve added to his page HERE. He invited me to ring him which I did and we had a long conversation culminating in him promising to send me more details of his career. Unfortunately Alan has Parkinson’s so finds it harder to paint now but thankfully he still does.

I’ve also added a few more scans to Julek Heller’s page HERE including some of the later covers from the PAN imprint TOR plus an Arrow cover as I like it. Still no reply to my messages to him via his website but I don’t give up that easily.

Julek Heller and Ralph Vernon-Hunt plus Wedding

Julek Heller was born in 1944 in Jerusalem of Polish parents, who came to England as refugees in 1947. Now living in London, Heller has been working on non-commissioned fantasy illustrations since 2000. I have tried to contact him via his website but no response so far.His first covers for PAN/Piccolo, are far as I can find, were ‘The Songs of Summer’ by Robert Silverberg and ‘More Irish Fairy Tales’ by Sineadde de Valera from 1979. He went on to paint several more covers for both imprints plus later ones under the TOR imprint. Some examples can be found HERE with more to be added soon.

I’ve been communicating with June Read in Canada this last week. She contacted me a while ago, then went off travelling but has now returned and is sorting out bits and pieces from when she retired from being Ralph Vernon-Hunts secretary in the 1970’s. Here is a taster with more to come next week. I’ve added the bit from the book cover as a reminder.
My son’s wedding in Kent went off really well last Saturday and although we did get the downpour at 2:30, just as we came out of the church (which had unfortunately been forecast all the proceeding¬† week) the sun shone after this. I was very proud of my wife with her reading from Shakespeare. Even the vicar said he didn’t want to sound patronising but it was one of the best readings he had heard. We hope Thomas and Catherine have a very long and happy marriage. On the minus side I’ve missed two of my favourite ‘must visit’ annual book fairs, the Methodist church in Lichfield and the Baddesley Clinton NT fair near Warwick both starting on the 5th.