PAN Fans

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for

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

RIP Roger Moore

Very sorry to hear of the death of Roger Moore today, sadly overshadowed by the tragic events in Manchester here in the UK. He was born in London 14th October 1927 and died Switzerland 23rd May 2017. I think he will always be remembered for playing James Bond in spite of all his other accomplishments. 

I’ll sort out all the covers related to Roger for a later tribute

Eric Tenney plus ‘The Doctor’

I had no takers for last weeks question as to who it was holding their original artwork for a PAN title. Well the answer was Eric Tenney probably most well known for his animal studies. I couldn’t find an email address for him so actually wrote a letter and was pleasantly surprised to get a call from him saying he still had the artwork for ‘Shockwave’ by Colin Forbes and that he had also painted at least three more Forbes covers plus other assorted titles which I’ve scanned and added HERE Eric’s daughter Susan kindly sent me photos of what I think are printers proofs Eric has filed away and it is from these I selected the PAN titles but I do also like the Fontana Ngaio Marsh covers. I have noticed the ‘Shockwave’ cover in the photo is actually the Guild Publishing edition and the same artwork was used for this as well as the PAN hardback and paperback editions.

I’ve also included, for completeness, a cover by another wildlife artist, Peter Warner who sadly died in 2007. It seems strange that someone who specialise in cats did the cover for dog stories!

…. and finally after mentioning GEEK Comic Com last week I managed to speak to Colin Baker. Well I felt sorry for him as nobody else was but I think he’s getting old as I said I remembered when we last met in 1985 but he didn’t!

STOP PRESS Just got a lovely piece of original Eric Tenney artwork off eBay. It had the ‘Make me an offer option’ so I went for a silly price I thought would be rejected but was accepted, why didn’t I go lower! I used my usual ploy and told my wife I’ve bought it for her, now just waiting for it to arrive.

Question of the Week plus latest additions.

The question of the week is does anyone recognise this art work for a PAN book cover being held by the well known artist who painted it? I’ve bought a few more PAN books with covers by the same artist and if they’ve arrived by next week I’ll name names otherwise it will be the week after. The prize is just the pride/smugness you’ll feel for getting it right!

A while ago I included the original artwork I had for a Mills and Boon title by Joyce Dingwell. I was intrigued when looking at the dates in the book as to how many times it had been published by different publishers under different names. I know it’s not PAN but it’s fun to research these things which I’ve added HERE

I’ve also found ‘The Pan Book of Crosswords Book 7’ form the 60/70’s and now only number one of this series to be found. If only all sellers actually showed a picture of the book they were listing, I’ve given up sending back the ones I don’t want but the local charity shop does well out of it.

I’ve also added ‘The Sunday Times Calendar Cookbook’ which I could only find at silly prices but may have been using the wrong ISBN as it now appears to be available at a price I was happy to pay. I’ve also found yet another cover variant for a Jack Higgins namely ‘Storm Warning’ from 1977. It’s odd with prices as I was contacted by a fellow collector after a title he could only find on AbeBooks at over £100 pounds, I looked on Amazon and there were two copies for a couple of pounds. Like my ‘Times’ book I think we can all missearch every now and again.

… and lastly I spent Saturday at the GEEKS Comic-Con 2017 followed by the G Rail Show on Sunday all on our doorstep, why aren’t there any paperback book fairs?

A moan about bookshops plus these aren’t PAN paperbacks!

Last month, while looking for a book on line I found a sellers description for a PAN copy of OHMSS which left me a bit puzzled. I forwarded it to Bazeer Flumore to see what he made of it. It said;

Small 8vo. or.pict. wrap. depicting Ian Fleming on the rear cover and a painting in colour on the front. OCTAVO SIZE. WRAPPERED EDITION. PAGES: (240pages). James Bond / 007 thriller. The fourth James Bond film produced and starring Sean Connery. Pan X350. SPECIAL AUSTRALIAN EDITION as noted on the copyright page and first edition thus and one of the truly rare Pan editions to procure. Creasing to covers, spine rubbed, pages browned. #AAA1

Bazeer contacted the seller and got the following response with photos;

A wrappered edition is just a bookseller’s term for a paperback…, and that’s the only format that Pan ever published their books in.

The photos show it is the 1965 4th printing edition with the Hawkey style cover. This is wrong on so many levels. I tried to find a definition of ‘wrappered’ which I think was a term used in Victorian times but the closest was of the International league of Antiquarian Booksellers website which said;

Abbreviated as “wraps”, wrappers are the paper covers of a pamphlet, often of a paper of heavier weight than the text paper; when you see “wrappers” you know the item is not a hard bound book, but is instead a pamphlet or magazine with paper covers; usually not used to refer to 20th century paperback books which are called “soft bound” (with paper covers).

It does not have a painting on the front, it is not a first and is not particularly rare but I agree it is an Australian edition. They have two copies with one at £198 and the other at £376!

The seller also states that PAN only published paperbacks which as any fan knows is just not true. They published hardbacks and even some with plastic covers. Here are a couple of links to show examples, ‘Chances’ by Jackie Collins (which I just happened to have to hand) in hardback and softback and three titles ‘wrappered’ in PVC.

And talking of booksellers, why can’t they stick to their opening hours? While in Warwick last week I had done my research on my favourite site HERE and found two bookshops in the same street, one open until 5:00 the other 5:30. As it was 3:30 I though we had plenty of time so called in to the first one we passed. Leaving there about 4:00 we went to the next to find the one supposedly open until 5:00 had closed at 4:00 according to the bit of card on the door. No explanation as to why.

Interesting Art Installation plus a couple of covers.

Just back from a few days away in the camper in the middle of Warwick Racecourse. Unfortunately no racing while we were there as we’d have had a great view. While there I got an interesting email from artist Conor Masterson who had been given my details by PAN Books. It was in relation to the Virtú Exhibition at the Hunt Museum, Limmerick, Eire which includes one of his art installations.

Virtú, Friday 7th April – Sunday 21st May. Virtú is a curated exhibition that explores the ongoing relationship between The Hunt Museum and LSAD. The exhibition includes contemporary artists working in various disciplines and a collection of drawings from several collections including IMMA and The Hunt Museum. Join us on Friday 7th April, 3pm for an interactive discussion with the artists of Virtú, as they discuss their works and artistic processes.

I’ve emailed Conor for more details as to why 180 copies of “JAWS” Here is his reply;

I studied art and then photography in Dublin graduating in 1992. The Jaws project was something I started in 1996 and it is called 180 Books
I was originally drawn to the typeface and the iconic cover when I saw a few copies on a shelf of a charity shop in and was tickled to find a few together with the same pattern repeated. I bought three copies in that shop in 1996 and two more the same day in other charity shops. A few weeks later I was looking at the copies on my shelf and noticed how each one was subtly different, each reader had marked the covers with signs of their own individual touch, their tell tale impressions of how they read a book. Some were gentle, some rough, the spine was broken in a variety of ways or not at all. I realised that, to me, they represented us all. This pop culture phenomenon that had sold millions of copies in the 1970’s had been read by millions of purchasers and millions more who had borrowed or bought these used copies. When we see them in person and we stand back they appear identical but as we move closer the fine subtle details reveal themselves. As we get very close those differences are extraordinary. Each copy, in this collection, is the same edition but is so obviously unique when laid side by side. I feel it is an interesting metaphor for the human condition, we are all the same and yet completely unique. Conor Masterson Margate 2017

While in Warwick I picked up a couple books which were not PAN but slightly related. “Murder Racquet” by Hitchcock with a cover by Les Edwards who did the cover for “The Scrapbook of PAN Horror Stories” by Johnny Mains currently on hold. The other was “The Secret Servant” by Gavin Lyall, a PAN Books stalwart, with a cover I’ve not seen before from Raymond Hawkey, a name familiar to all PAN/Bond fans.

I liked the photo of Gavin in this book as it shows him with a cat. Currently having 5 cats with us I’m trying to remember when we only had one!

Hedger (not Edgar) Wallace and another PAN boat.

I recently bought a ‘bumper bundle’ of bits relating to the book ‘End Quiet War’ by Hedger Wallace. Wallace was born in Winchester on the 14th October 1927 and died in Fulham in February 2000. IMDB has credited him with 56 appearances in films and on TV. In the package was a signed copy of the PAN edition, plus a letter included with the contract, the contract itself, a couple of photos and the original typed manuscript. The cover is by Paul Simmons who coincidently a while ago kindly sent me a photo of covers which included this title.

I also came across a book “Coming Down The Seine’ by Robert Gibbings which mentions Alan Bott and a different boat to the ‘Laloun’ which was also, apparently, used for shipping books from France. In September to coincide with the 70th anniversary of PAN issuing book numbered ‘1’ and the next 9 which were all printed in France I’ve got a great article from Gordon who was the mate on the ‘Laloun’ carry those first copies. I’ve tried to get PAN interested in his really entertaining memories but disappointingly they’ve not reacted so far.
I’ve asked Gordon if this might be a photo of the ‘Yarvik’ or just one with the same name although it is the right length and was built for war work. I’ll hopefully have an answer soon but Gordon is presently touring around on the continent.

Finally I’ve been emailing Linda who runs the entertaining ‘Catherine’ site. I knew of her via the ‘Angelique’ site run by Anna who mentioned it to me. Interestingly Linda has three PAN editions which are the same as the UK ones but are all printed in Canada. I mentioned to her I would need to contact my wife’s cousin who lives in Oakville (the same Oakville from where came Eric Monkman fans of University Challenge) to go out scouting for me. Linda is Swiss but actually learnt her English while living in Hamilton, literally next door to Oakville.

UPDATE: Gordon has just replied “Yes” same boat, more when he gets back from Bruges.

L Houghton and a modest Angelique.

I recently bought an original artwork by L Houghton for a Mills and Book cover in their ‘Doctors’ series. Interestingly it’s not quite the same as the book cover in that the nurse is the same one but the original doctor is removed and replaced by another on the other side but they don’t seem to have taken into account the green curtains!

L Houghton is a bit of a mystery. Steve Holland on his Bear Alley site thinks he could be Laurence John C Houghton so I’ve emailed a family member who now lives in Australia but was born just down the road from where I am now. I’ll let you know if I have a reply.

The only PAN cover I can find that he painted is the “The Drowning Pool’ by John Ross Macdonald from 1955.

If anyone has any more information on this artist we’d love to hear about it.

I also got an email from Anna who runs the website that ‘m sure all Angelique fans have visited. She used the photo of my Angelique film poster on her site but drew my attention to the same poster but looking slightly different. Spot the change HERE I thought it must be for a country where censorship was heavier than the UK back in the 60’s and on checking I found it was being sold by Ashgrove Auctioneers in Portarlington, County Laois which does explain the cover up. It was only years later I found that the film ‘La Ronde’ was not really 45 minutes long, that was just how much was left by the censors when I saw it in Dublin in 1966!

STOP PRESS Had a reply from Australia regarding L Houghton but unfortunately Kay doesn’t know what her very distant relative did for a living.

One less on my ‘Wants’ list

For a long time I’ve been trying to find a set of four James Herriot titles in a sleeve but the only place I’d seen it was on a Canadian site. I’ve tried to order it several times with the following scenario. The seller says they’ve mislaid it, it then gets taken off their site only to reappear a few months later so I’d try and order again with the seller saying they’d mislaid …. you get the idea. So I was really pleased when another one appeared on a different Canadian site and I was so carried away I even paid the extortionate postage costs. The books inside are interesting in that they are printed in Canada and have something I’ve never seen before on the back namely the words ‘Litho’d in Canada’ Click HERE to see them.

Sorry for the short blog again but other things have taken priority over PAN books. I know that’s hard to believe but we’ve had great news this week. We have been campaigning for several years to get a disused railway opened up as a leisure greenway and after a meeting yesterday we’ve been given the go ahead subject to forming a ‘Friends of’ type of group with a proper plan for the future. If anyone is interested you can find us at ‘Back The Track’ All ‘likes’ on Facebook gratefully received.

…. and finally I’ve managed to appear on TV reading the weather forecast at last. OK it’s not for real just a bit of fun at the BBC Studios but it’s certainly not as easy as it appears. The chart was definitely not from that day as a coat was still needed inside and out.

What’s Cooking This Week?

Having been away for a few days this week it will be a short blog but with a fair bit of content. We returned to the ‘Back to Back’ houses in Birmingham where last year we stayed in a ‘Victorian cottage’ and this year we jumped forward 30 years to a 1930’s one. If you’ve not been they are well worth a visit even if not staying but if you do it is ideal for getting to almost everywhere in the centre of Birmingham with the Hippodrome Theatre literally across the road. We went to see the musical ‘Billy Elliot’ which was very entertaining.Mind you it wasn’t all peace and quiet, this is the view from our window after being woken up at 3:11 am by the ‘blues and twos’ No idea what was going on, got bored looking so went back to bed.

I was looking at ‘Learning to Cook’ by Marguerite Patten when a bookmark fell out. One side had conversion tables, the other a list of PAN cookery titles. I’ve found them all but the next challenge is to find the editions contemporary with the card as mine are all over the timescale. Looking in some of the books there are at lot longer lists of titles available on line from a few pence to a couple of pounds but why are sellers asking so much for ‘The Times Cookery Book’ some wanting three figure amounts!

‘Hammerhead’ and a couple of additions.

I’m always on the look out for PAN related material so when I saw a copy of ‘Hammerhead’ by Dynamite I had to get a copy. It is either a homage or a pastiche depending on your view point and this particular cover was apparently one of seven variants produced for part one. They don’t seemed to have replicated it for the other five parts of the story. It has what is meant to look like a sticker on the from saying CBLDF from which it gets it variant title and means ‘Comic Book Legal Defense Fund’ (my speller checker is a bit miffed by ‘defense’)

Talking of homage or pastiche HERE is a link to the Honeypot Designs blog (sometimes it asks if you want to continue, I’ve not found any problems so far) It shows several mashups for James Bond books, the challenge this week is to name all the original titles of the covers used! I’ll give you a starter ‘Dark Interlude’ by Peter Cheyney (If you do a search on the site for PAN you’ll get several more)

I’ve also added another Berkley edition of ‘The Return of Moriarty’ which was a lot later edition than the one I thought I’d bought. The challenge now is still to find the two from 1981 and ‘The Revenge of Moriarty’ from 1988.

I’ve also added one more cover by Jas.E. McConnell, namely ‘The Grand Sophy’ which brings the total so far up to eighteen.