PAN Fans

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for

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

Vladimir Koziakin Mazes

Bit shorter blog than usual because of my father-in-laws funeral last week and also because of the non arrival of a couple of books that should have been with me quite a while ago. I found I had three of the four Mazes For Fun titles published under the Piccolo imprint so I bought number 4 plus the PAN ‘Mazes Book 2′  to go with number 1 all by Vladimir Koziakin. These are the two covers I wanted to scan and would normally wait but have decided to go ahead without them this time. Apart from possibly being Russian I can’t find much about Koziakin, does anyone know any more? He was a prolific producer of mazes with themed titles such as ‘The Hardy Boys Mazes’, “Flash Gordon Mazes’, ‘Greatest Car Mazes’ and ‘Monster Movie Mazes’ but these were not published by PAN.


A sample page from ‘Mazes for Fun 3′

……… and just when I thought I’d completed my Cartland challenge I find I’ve mislaid one of the titles! I thought there were 133 with the pictorial covers but I have now scaled down to 129 as 4 of the last few turned out to be film tie-ins so have photos on a pink background. Be warned, these will appear later!

Piccolo ‘Fun For ……’ Series

In 1989 Piccolo published four titles edited by Mary Danby entitledFun For 5 Year Olds’, ‘Fun For 6 Year Olds’, ‘Fun For 7 Year Olds’ and you’ve guessed it ‘Fun For 8 Year Olds’ They were a compilation of games and puzzles from various publications by a variety of publishers. I am still trying to ascertain if the Mary Danby who wrote over 65 horror stories is the same as the Mary Danby responsible for a wide variety of Piccolo titles. Fun5Unusually the four covers are by four different artists including Kim Blundell and Ed McHenry (cartoonist) both of whom I trying to find a way to contact, Bryan Reading (cartoonist) who I think has just died and finally Toni Goffe, fellow cat lover, to whom I’ve just sent an email.

Toni Goffe from his website

Toni Goffe from his website

…………. and again another 7 Cartland titles added making it 116 out of 133.

‘The Trap’ PAN X 519 from 1966 by John Burke

I recently picked up a copy of a press information sheet for the 1966 film ‘The Trap’ produced at the same time for the release in May. I was a little disappointed in that it didn’t mention the book that was written from the script of the film. PosterIt was another work by John Burke who novelised the screenplay by David Osborn and it was published by PAN as X519. Burke was to be paid £350 if the book was sold at 2/6 or £525 if it sold at 3/6 which it did. I’m still trying to decide if the squiggle on the cover is a signature or just part of the overall design, any ideas?SignatureJohn produced numerous novelisations of films and TV programs under different names and I’m putting together a page to show many of the titles he wrote for PAN.

I’ve added yet another Barbara Cartland title “Tempted to Love” which now means the page has 105 of the 133 I think PAN published. The list is an amalgamation of titles from the books themselves and a few websites but having found a couple not on either of these sources makes me wonder how many more there may be and I’m not 100% sure if all the ones on the list were published by PAN. I’m slightly tempted to see if I can find them all but then again ……………..

Sad News, Gumbles and Dust Jackets

Sadly my Father-in-Law died last week. Bob had been suffering for several months but passed away peacefully in his sleep. R.I.P.

I mentioned in the last blog the passing of Desmond Digby original illustrator of the “Gumbles” books and went to sort out my three titles I knew PAN published under the Piccolo imprint. I was surprised to find that I had forgotten one was a later edition after Piccolo changed to Young Piper and that the cover was actually by Sandy Nightingale. I’ve sent her an email and will keep fingers crossed for a reply. PAN only published three of the four titles written by Sidney Wakefield and didn’t include the “Gumbles in Trouble” or the omnibus edition.

I also spotted a variant of a dust jacket on Flickr. This time it was for “Flames Coming Out the Top” by Norman Collins, PAN number 74, and the challenge now is to find a copy. To see the others go HERE. You’ll notice that there are two variant dust jackets for PAN 90 “Action For Slander” as well which makes me wonder how many of the others had more than one?


Desmond Digby, Google Mobile Test, ‘Childhood’s End’ and a Flier!

Gumbles2I was sorry to hear of the death of Desmond Digby last week in Australia. He was on my list of ‘to contact’ book artists probably best known for illustrating the ‘Bottersnikes and Gumbles’ series by Sidney A Wakefield. I will put a page together to show the Piccolo editions in a later blog.

There was an advert for our local brew, Bank’s Beer, which said ‘Unspoilt By Progress’ and I’m pleased to say that applies to my PAN website. Because it doesn’t use anything fancy it passes the Google mobile friendly test, unlike my other two, as it is the same as it was in 1999. Back then it was at the cutting edge of technology using frames and a screen resolution of 800×600 when the standard was 640×480. I seem to remember having the amazing amount of hosting space of 10gb(!) so every image counted hence the small size of the oldest ones.

CE8Just sorting books on the shelves and I started to realise how many copies of Arthur C Clarke titles I have. I’ll be putting together a few pages of them over the next months and todays is “Childhood’s End” written in August 1953. Still looking to identify some of the artists. Why couldn’t PAN be more like US publishers and acknowledge them which is why I’ve included the Ballantine as it lists Dean Ellis as the cover artist.

On a completely different note my son thinks my wife and I need to get out more so he is signing us up for interesting experiences such as aerial walkways, Segway riding, tobogganing and last Monday sky diving in a wind tunnel. I don’t think I was quite a supple as I needed to be. This was about as high as I got where as my wife and son went up over twenty feet! airkix

Cartland Bantam versus PAN & Happy Birthday to my Wife

Looking at a few of the Bantam covers of Barbara Cartland novels shows they used the same artwork as PAN for some titles and very similar images for others. I’ve put a random selection HERE. It’s interesting to see how many different styles Bantam used while PAN was consistent over the 18 or so years they published Cartland titles.

On a different note it is my wife’s Birthday tomorrow and as she is a Robinson Crusoe fan I’ve got her some original artwork and had it framed. It was coincidence that while looking through some Readers Digest Condensed Books (see previous blog) I saw ‘Robinson Crusoe’ with artwork by Jack McCarthy which I ignored as he didn’t do work for PAN as far as I can ascertain. It was a couple of days later that a message popped up on eBay, while I was looking at something completely different, saying I might be interested in some artwork which turned out to be the original for the frontispiece. Needless to say I bought it along with another McCarthy which I presume is the front cover of another ‘Best Loved Books’ I’m guessing the legionnaires could be ‘Beau Gest’ but the other parts don’t go with the only copy of the book I can find as it is a US version and the UK ones had different sets of titles. Does anyone know of a copy as below?RD

Ron or Josh Kirby?

I was in communication with Derek Stowe recently as I had picked up a copy of Peter Benchley’s “The Island” from 1980 which has a cover credited to a Ron Kirby but is there more than one?The Island Now I know Josh Kirby’s name was really Ronald and Derek mentioned working with him in the mid 50’s on “Authentic Science Fiction Monthly” Derek said

“Yes, my friend Ron Kirby was known by many as ‘Josh’. He was an incredible intelligent guy – always interested in the ‘The other World’ the world of the fantastic. Among other things he was always wary of cats as he believed that they made you stroke them to gather electricity for the Moon! He acquired the nickname ‘Josh’ while studying at the Liverpool City School of Art. He said ” Some wag thought I painted like Sir Joshua Reynolds” He thought that his first paperback was a PAN in 1956 of Ian Fleming’s MOONRAKER, and first magazine cover was for the Authentic Science Fiction Monthly ( March 1957) illustrating a book by Douglas West – Dead Weight. His official list of covers runs to more than 400. For all his vauge and dreamy personality, he was a great influence on me – he seemed to always know the answer to life”

I have all of the 6 covers Ron/Josh did for “Authentic Science” and they can be seen if you click HERE while the 2/3(?) painted by Derek can be seen HERE.

PAN Books and Readers Digest Quiz

I was again looking through some old Reader’s Digest Condensed Books and being amazed at how many familiar names did the illustrations. So for this blog I have scanned in a few pages of illustrations by artists who also did covers for PAN. To make it a quiz I’ve given the title but not the artist. Click HERE to go to the page where you will find a random selection of seven images by seven artist some of who are very well know.

When you have had enough click HERE for the answers.

UPDATE I have added another 3 titles to the Cartland page which now brings the number scanned to 105 and making the total of know PAN titles 133(?) as one was a title I hadn’t got on the original list. TheMarquisWinsThis meant a complete rejig of the table as 132 was neatly divided by 4 but 133 …!

More Julian May Covers from Stephen Bradbury + Others

ReflectionsIn the book “Reflections: The Art Of Stephen Bradbury” published by Paper Tiger in 1996 can be found the original artwork for the covers for “The Saga of the Exiles” series where Stephen tells of his meeting with Gary Day-Ellison and how lucky he was to get the commission as it was Friday and “Gary didn’t see anybody on a Friday” His obvious disappointment softened the secretary’s heart, he had five minutes to show his portfolio anf the rest is history as they say. After the “Exiles” covers he went on to do the four covers in the “Galactic Milieu” series, namely “Intervention”, “Jack the Bodiless”, “Diamond Mask” and “Magnificat” The eight covers are linked in that the angel in “Magnificat” metamorphoses back into the skull on the cover of “The Many Coloured Land”
CoverCycleI have now added several more covers of various dates to my original Julian May PAN Books page including some of the American titles Stephen mentioned saying “If you see the American covers for the same series, they are a bit cringeworthy” Dare I say I quite like some of them especially “Adversary” from 1983. It is also interesting to see the later PAN editions from 1994 onwards where the artwork is spoilt by being squashed to fit a format for which they were not intended.

“The Time Machine” plus updates

Man‘The Time Machine’ by Herbert George Wells was written 120 years ago in 1895 and has never been out of print. I don’t know how many covers and variations PAN printed but I’ve put seven examples I’ve got HERE The 1953 cover is by George Woodman about whom, like a lot of the artists from the time, very little has been recorded. The 1974 cover is by Ian Miller and the 1976 by Alan Lee of which a lot has been written about them both.

Here are a some recent updates for a few pages;

Rowan Barnes-Murphy was mentioned in a blog regarding the Breakthrough language series and since then I have tracked down and scanned in another four of his covers and one where he did the illustrations to .

I found  another cover for ‘The Scapegoat’ from the Daphne du Maurier series, ordered it and yet again it is not the one shown so I’ve used the sellers photo while I try and track down the one I actually wanted. I’ve also included a photo of an item I found on eBay, a book and letter signed by du Maurier. I place a bid but in the end it went for £137, well over my limit.

I’ve added a couple more covers to the ‘Piccolo Adventure Library’ with artwork by author and artist Tom Barling. These are both signed ‘T.B.78:’

Finally after many years I’ve found copies of  book 1 and  3 to go with 2 and 4 of the “Fun With Words” series  I already had. It is one of those mysterious occurrences when I can’t  find any for years and then both the ones I need come along at the same time – and at a price I’m willing to pay. Someone is asking £35 for book 4!