PAN Fans

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for

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

Bookseller, New Scanner and Violette Szabo

As I’ve told my wife so many times I just can’t help buying books and now I’ve discovered why. It’s in the genes as both my Great Great Great Grandfather and Great Great Uncle (both named Charles Lowe) ran ‘The Great Book Mart’ in New Street Birmingham from around 1855 to 1903.Masthead I’m putting together pages with some of their bits and pieces like fliers and signed books they published plus miscellaneous newspaper cuttings. Unfortunately the firm came to a sudden end as shown below.GladstoneTrying to scan documents for the above has been proving difficult as I’ve only had an A4 scanner up to now. I set out this week just to buy an A3 scanner and ended up with an all singing, all dancing wireless scanner/printer/fax/phone with 3 media drawers etc. but it still won’t let me stack up a pile of books to automatically feed through and scan. Am I asking too much? I’m sure it must be possible which reminds me of my Sony C7 Betamax Recorder which had a Betastack. This allowed you to stack four tapes with either a different recording on each or twelve hours continuous recording apart from the two minute tape changeover when the most important bit of the film usually happened! This was almost completely mechanical and I was really pleased to find this site about it. I still have it all in the loft somewhere.

More original artwork scans next week when I have mastered the new scanning beast but in tribute to Violette Szabo G. C. whose medals were sold at auction this week I’ve rescanned G105 ‘Carve Her Name With Pride’ signed by the author R. J. Minney. Szabo

Mark Peppé etc.

This weeks original artwork is the Piccolo 1972 edition of ‘The Foxhole’ by Ian Southall with cover artwork by Mark Peppé. Unfortunately I don’t seem to be able to get a good photo with my camera and the colours are no where near as washed out as they appear. I think a visit to the library to use their photocopier is called for again.

Hector1I recently picked up a copy of ‘Make and Share’ from the HECTOR CLUB which was started by the charity ‘Help the Aged’ I have only found the one title so far but I have added a few of the club badges plus details of a competition winner and his ‘wonderful’ prize!

I recently featured the original artwork for a couple of slightly salacious covers for Caldwell titles by artist Hans Helweg. Helweg painted many titles for PAN and one day I’ll get around to putting them all on one page but he also did a two/three covers for Piccolo featuring ‘Oggy the Hedgehog’ The reason I put two/three is in two of them if definitely states Hans produced the covers and illustrations but in the third he is only credited with illustrating the contents.

Peter Charles artwork etc.

This weeks original artwork is by Peter Charles It is the cover for ‘The House At World’s End’ by Monica Dickens. There were three other titles in the ‘World’s End’ series published by Piccolo in the 70’s all with cover artwork by the same artist. Any information on Peter Charles would be gratefully received.

HitchI’ve also been checking up on other pages that have been on the site for a while and realied I’ve been a title short on one of the Alfred Hitchcock pages namely ‘Stories Not For The Nervous Book 2′ which I’ve now rectified.

Another page I’ve now updated was showing the four titles in the ‘Rogue Herries’ series by Hugh Walpole with covers by John Raynes. I’ve added later editions with photo covers but not really too sure if I like them.

…. and finally is this a record for a first edition of ‘Casino Royale’ on eBay?

Alan and Alice In Wonderland

TalesFromTheGalaxiesAs I’ve mentioned before over the next few weeks I’m showing some of the original cover artwork I was luck enough to purchased recently. One of them was by Alan Lee and I’ve put it on a page along with one I already had which we are pretty sure is by Alan although not signed. I hope to be able catch up with Alan to get him to sign them for me.

On July 4th 1862 Charles Dodgson is supposed to have told his tale to Alice Liddell in a boat on the River Isis. This tale ‘Alice in Wonderland’ was first published in 1865 and has never been out of print for 150 years. PAN as usual decided to do something odd with their numbering and published it as G1 in 1947 and again as GP1 in 1948 but what happened to G2 to G100? It was published as a Piccolo imprint in 1973 and 1977.

Hans Helweg Original Artwork

I’m going to be including the original artwork I was lucky enough to get recently in the next few blogs. Today I am showing the only two PAN titles (the others being from PAN’s children’s imprint Piccolo) I was really pleased to find they were for two Erskine Caldwell titles and both signed by Hans Helweg.SigThey are about as raunchy as PAN got back in the late 50’s and early 60’s
Helweg was Danish and I think his dates were 21st Feb 1917 to 23rd June 2008. Information is scarce but I did find this on a blog from Hereford College of Art

“The widow of Illustrator Hans Helweg, Sue Bell has kindly donated his easel, brushes and other art materials to the Illustration course. Hans was a brilliant Illustrator who is most famous for his work with Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond on his Olga da Polga books. Olga1Hans also illustrated many book covers for Pan in the early 1960’s and his artwork is still much collected by fans of the English/European ‘pulp fiction’ scene. I will be writing more about Hans later in the year”

I have contacted both the author of the blog (last updated 2011?) regarding the last line and the college regarding the donation and possible contact details for Sue Bell but up to now have heard nothing.

Just found a Reader’s Digest Condescend Book version of ‘River God’ which was illustrated by Neville Dear . As his page has always been a bit thin I’ve now included the frontispiece.

Cecil Vieweg

CecIt has been a pleasure to talk with Cecil (Cec to his friends) Vieweg over the last few months and I have put together a page HERE to show most of his PAN covers plus several other works for different publications. I have also included a brief biography. Cec was producing covers for PAN from the early 70’s after he arrived in the UK from South Africa in 1968 and continued up to the early 90’s.
He was at PAN at the same time as George Sharp and I am pleased to say that I have put them in contact with each other after many years and we hope to all meet up somewhere soon. I’ll be there with my camera.
I added two more scans of frontispieces from Reader’s Digest Condensed Books yesterday as mother-in-law has moved care homes this weekend and the new one has another shelf of these volumes for me to look through!

Just heard of the death of James Salter last Friday (born Horowitz 10/06/25) whose first novel ‘The Hunters’ was  published by PAN as G151 in 1958.

Marguerite Patten 04/11/15 – 04/04/15


I had one of those odd, and a little sad, coincidences this week. I was near Cambridge last Wednesday to pick up some books which happened to be the Piccolo Marguerite Patten Cook Books which Eileen Strange had signed for me as she did the illustrations. It was while driving away from the house of a friend of hers that I heard on the radio the news that Marguerite had just died only a few months short of her century. Eileen knew Marguerite and said what a lovely ‘down to earth’ lady she was.

The reason I was collecting the books from Cambridge was that Eillen lives on the Isle of Coll off the Scottish mainland and it was luck that a friend of hers, Cliff from Cambridge, was happy to bring them down, plus several other bits and pieces, for me to pick up closer to home.

Eileen’s first husband John worked in the art department at PAN and rescued some cover artworks. Unfortunately her second husband has recently died and she is now trying to downsize and wants to travel and I was happy to buy a few PAN / Piccolo related items from her,. We came to an amicable settlement and I’ve helped her on her way to Uzbekistan in November.

I’ll be featuring the original artworks in coming blogs including some by Alan Cracknell, Alan Lee and Hans Helweg.

A Miscellany of Barbara Cartland Bits and Pieces

Having found all the pictorial Cartland titles I had on my list I looked at other related bits and pieces I had including several autographed cards and letters. There was also a couple of photos and I decided to see which original book covers were shown. BookCovers1

On one of the blogs on ‘Today’s Inspiration’ I found the following;

“Earlier this week we learned from commentor Chad Sterling that Barbara Cartland refused to return any of the original paintings to Francis Marshall, instead framing them and hanging them on the walls of her mansion, which left Marshall feeling quite bitter. Ximena provides an eye witness confirmation of that sorry situation: “I once had tea with Barbara Cartland (possible title for an autobiography) and she had a whole wall with originals. They were a bit bigger than an A4, and so cool, all together like that, it made me really jealous.”

As Tom Watson pointed out in a follow-up comment, the practice of keeping illustrators’ originals under the assumption that the physical art was part of the purchase price of the reproduction rights was all too common for many decades – and rarely challenged by artists who feared rocking the boat and risking the loss of future assignments. From personal experience, (having had the experience many times in the early years of my career of not getting my original art back) I learned to always clarify the purchase terms of an assignment in writing up front”

I’ve put together a page HERE showing the covers including the one on the right behind her head which was not published by PAN. I’ve only gone for the obvious ones although I may try find some of the others from parts shown at a later time but I’ve not managed to identify the one at the bottom – any one know? Cartland was a staunched supporter of the St John Ambulance and a couple of the covers have links to that. I’ve also put on the truly awful PAN pink covers I threatened to do a couple of weeks ago!

I have been in contact with a cover artist who lives on a small island off the Scottish coast who wants to down size and travel so we have come to an amicable settlement regarding buying some PAN related original cover artwork she has. As it is quite a jaunt up there I’ve been lucky in that she had a visitor from Cambridge visiting who has kindly picked them up and I am collecting them from him this week. They will appear on the next few blogs.

‘The Film Classics Library’

‘White Rabbits’ or whatever you are supposed to say on the first of the month for luck but it’s not worked with the weather, where is Flaming June? Certainly not here in the UK but moving on to more important things …….

I’ve sent many a happy hour looking through the eight(?) titles in the Richard J. Anobile series ‘The Film Classics Library’ studying for quizzes but I don’t think any have actually cropped up as questions so far! For those who may not have seen them they consist of thousands of stills from the films plus dialogue and even the start and end credits (quiz goldmine) The maltesenallPAN published four titles under the Picador imprint and Darien House, Flare Books / AVON published another four all of which can be seen HERE There are some variations in the cover stills between the UK and US editions and I’ve just scanned the versions I have. I particularly like the shot in ‘Stagecoach’ where there is a pan following the coach through Monument Valley as I can say I’ve stood on John Ford Point from where he filmed it.Stageback

I’ve also found the last of the Cartland titles I knew I had and was looking for last week plus I’ve added ‘Mazes 2′ which eventually arrived in the post but still no sign of ‘Mazes for Fun 4′

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!