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

Gino D’Achille and Recycled Artwork

As promised last week I’ve scanned in my artwork by Gino D’Achille and although not PAN, Panther is close! Click HERE to see it.

I also bought a copy of ‘Anticipation’ about the French mainly sci-fi series of books published by Fleuve Noir. Some sellers are asking over £50 for a copy so when I saw it at 12 euros on Amazon I ordered a copy. I then got a message from the seller asking where the price came from as it should be 25 euros? I said that was the price shown and then expected the order to be cancelled but it wasn’t and honoured at the price quoted. The postage was also 12 euros but turns out it was sent from a publishers here in the UK so maybe a bit step. Could be the postage and book price got mixed up but I’m happy.

Many of the covers were recycled from the ‘Young Artists’ group in the UK some starting out as PAN covers.. When I mentioned this on Facebook Jean-Daniel Brèque commented  “ALL of them were recycled. I know at least two writers who worked for Fleuve Noir at the time and who regularly went to the office of the publisher to pick their covers in advance. My friend Michel Pagel, who was working on a tetralogy, specifically picked up four Les Edwards covers featuring a skull in order to make his books stand out”

To see a couple of Terry Oakes covers click HERE. Jean-Daniel also mentioned a website which shows many examples, click HERE to go to the page for Terry Oakes then maybe use the search and go to the Les Edwards page.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” was supposedly said by Lao Tzu and I feel a bit like that with “The scanning of a thousand plus books starts with number one” I’m embarking on the task of rescanning all my numbered titles which would be 2,391 if they only had one edition but some have several different covers such as “Lost Horizon”. I’m also using it as a chance to rebuild my spreadsheet. So far I’ve done all of numbers 1 and 2!This is the spreadsheet so far, still deciding if this is all the columns I’ll need? I’ve got thumbnails images as comments so they appear when I hover over plus hyperlinked to the image so I can edit them easily if need be.

I came across this newspaper article which seemed to be particularly pertinent after talking about the above.

I had to get a copy of Justin Marriott’s new publication “Hot Lead” (available from Amazon) as the cover features ‘Hart’ draw by Gino d’Achille although he now appears to be left handed. I’ve show all the ‘Hart covers’ before but HERE is the link again.I have looked for some affordable original Gino artwork for a while and only this week realised I’ve had one for years. While sorting non PAN books I looked on the back of a Panther title of which I have the artwork and it is credited to Gino, something I’ve missed before. When I locate the artwork I’ll put it on a blog.

William Goldman, a signed copy by Alexander Cordell and a puzzle.

While looking at images of PAN books I spotted a copy of “The Princess Bride by William Goldman I’d not see before. I thought this would be easy to get but was surprised at the price someone wanted on AbeBooks.After another search I found this on Amazon ……
…… but in the end I got a copy for the penny plus postage from Amazon. What I always wonder is “Does anyone really buy books at the over the top prices?”

I was pleased to see PAN had included the name of the artist for “The Princess Bride” and it was a familiar one, Brian Sanders. I emailed him and he replied:
“Another blast from the past. Thank you. Yes I certainly remember making the artwork commissioned by Dave Larkin for Princess Bride, although it was in another life, when I lived in the lower reaches of Highgate. The young lady who modelled for me was the daughter of a neighbour. They lived less than fifty yards away. Warren Michel and family were in between; before he made it big time and moved up to Bishop’s Avenue. Forty years on the child princess bride must be in her late 50s”
Click HERE to see this and other Goldman covers from PAN.

I also picked up a signed copy of “Rape of the Fair Country” by Alexander Cordell and then spent the next half hour looking at his signature in other books and I think it could be a genuine one. Click HERE to see it and the original artwork from one of my favourite cover artists, Hans Helweg.

Not PAN but book related. BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has a ‘Puzzle of the Day’ and here’s the one from last Friday which I got wrong – again!
“I have an encyclopaedia of animals on my shelf, which comes in two volumes. On the left is the Aardvark to Lynx volume, and next to it on the right is the volume for Mackerel to Zebra. Each volume is 5cm thick. The covers are 2mm thick. I have bookmarked two pages, Aardvark and Zebra. How far apart would you say the two bookmarks are, to the nearest centimetre?”
Answer next week.

A Couple of Celebrations.

Missed it again, this websites birthday on the 16th so belated greetings for its coming of age – 18 years and still going strong.
Here’s to many more blogs and postings and hopefully comments from anyone reading them.

With Christmas coming up I thought I’d share a piece of seasonal artwork by PAN cover stalwart Glenn Steward I bought off eBay for peanuts, I think it cost me more in postage than I paid for the artwork itself. He painted it as an idea for his personal card for 1995. I like Glenn’s work and have a few examples including the perennial favourite ‘The PAN Book of Card Games’ used for thirty years over several editions. I also have the front and back covers of ‘That Magnificent Air Race’ and the ‘Hanging Hitchcock’ which my wife hates (I really must update a couple of those pages)

Although not that much is know about Steward he was a very keen cyclist and was art editor for ‘The Sporting Cyclist’ with a seasonal issue like this which doesn’t seem to contain any of his artwork so here are a couple of cyclist he painted for a greetings card.
… and finally I went out for a Christmas lunch for members of ‘The Friends of Pelsall Commons’ as my wife and I are ‘Wardens of the Little Commons’ which means we do grand things like litter picks. It was at lunchtime and half a bottle of wine was beginning to take its toll but at least I’m wearing my PAN top as they said wear something red and that was all I could find – honestly!

Micky Flanagan and Julek Heller

The title for this blog is one you don’t see everyday, a comedian and a painter although they would probably say they are both artists in their own way.

I don’t often listen to the radio programme ‘Desert Island Discs’ which has been going for 75 years but did catch the end of the episode while waiting for the news where comedian Flanagan chose PAN’s ‘A Dictionary of Philosophy’ as the book he would take. He mentioned he still has it at home so I’ve fired off one of my emails asking if it’s possible to have a photo of him holding it? I’ll let you know if I get a response.This reference has now swollen the ‘PAN as mentioned on radio’ section to all of two clips which can be found HERE.

Back in August I mentioned trying to contact Julek Heller to ask about the original unsigned artwork of a unicorn to check if it was one of his and so I was really pleased to get a message from his daughter Zosia this week and letting me have contact details. We have since communicated and he confirmed that the unicorn was his but unfortunately I had sent him the wrong artwork! There were two, one we knew was his, the other something like it and guess which one I attached? I’ve since sent the other and await a verdict. 

I also asked Julek about some of the titles from PAN with artwork listed as by him to which he replied “There are quite a few images out there attributed to me that I didn’t produce, some good some not ,what can you do? My website is in need of some work which I hope to deal with in the New Year . I Have a few sample covers somewhere in my files which I will try and dig out and scan. I’ll send them on to you if I can find them” I specifically mentioned the PAN ‘Gormenghast Triology’ listed as having artwork by him, which weirdly ties in with the “PAN as heard on radio” in that the only other clip refers to Mervyn Peake, author of the said novel. Julek attached his artwork for the Peake title but this was for Overlook Press in the States from 1988.I have some more scans to add to Julek’s page but I can’t get to the box at the moment, probably in the New Year. I’ll let you know when they go on.

W B Yeats and Michael Leonard

Last week I mentioned a strange coincidence which was that I was going to put up a page of the W B Yeats covers with portraits by Michael Leonard, an artist I’ve mentioned before. I was looking for an image of him and found a self portrait usually exhibited in the Ferens Gallery, Kingston Upon Hull. The strange part was that last week we were in Hull at the Ferens gallery to see the Turner prize nominees which unfortunately meant the portrait had been relegated to storage while the Turner exhibits were on. We were not too impressed with them apart from one where the artist had produced ‘real’ painting. He was a local lad, well local to us here in the Midlands, namely Hurvin Anderson and as we liked them this will probably mean he won’t win, sorry Hurvin.

To see the Michael Leonard Shakespeare paintings I’ve shown before click HERE. To see the Yeats covers click HERE. Michael does have a lot of his book covers on his site HERE but only shows one of the PAN Yeats and doesn’t include the ‘Grendel’ cover by John Gardner. Having been away I’ve not had time to include more but I am really pleased to say the builders have finished my ‘library’ and it’s now up to me to finish it off!

Nothing to do with books but another strange coincidence in Hull was that on the Tuesday night we were just wandering around when a man came up to us and asked if he could help and then proceeded to give us maps. We had a long chat and then said goodbye. The next day we were following the ‘fish trail’ (different fish images on the ground all around Hull) when we got stuck trying to find a one by a pub. In the end we went into the pub and we were amazed to see the man we had been talking to the night before. When we eventually found the ‘crab’ we had actually walked passed in so if we had spotted it we wouldn’t have walked in to the pub and we wouldn’t have met up again – spooky or what – must be a precursor to Halloween!

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.

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.

‘Posh Book’ and Piccolo or Piper First Books?

Spotted this on Abebooks and was tempted for all of three seconds until I saw the price but then again I don’t suppose Agatha signed that many paperbacks. It’s definitely a classier rebinding than a lot I’ve seen and apparently the book originally belonged to Mary Anna Marten OBE (1929 – 2010) and was purchased via auction. It was part of a lot of Thirty Five signed Agatha Christie books bound together in seven volumes. These have now been split and re-bound into separate individual volumes. All books were signed by Agatha Christie sometime in the late sixties. This slim volume can be yours for just £575 plus £3.95 postage. Below are a few more with different publishers from the same seller, Lasting Words Ltd. and with prices ranging from £425 to the PAN as the most expensive.

 

This is a bit confusing as the four titles as above are listed as a Piper series but with the Piccolo logo while inside it says ‘First published by Piper Ltd in 1984 and distributed under the Piccolo imprint by PAN Books Ltd’  Click HERE to see the four covers.

The imprints and their logos are usually to be found as in the two examples above of  ‘Gangsters, Ghosts and Dragonflies’ with covers by Terry Oakes (next blog) from 1983 and 1993.

Maurice at Zardoz and more Leslie Thomas

I’d like to say a very big ‘Thank you’ to Maurice Flanagan (and his wife) of Zardoz Books for the time and hospitality he gave my wife and I last Monday and Tuesday. We called round at his house where we saw all of his David Tayler roughs for PAN book covers plus dozens of other artworks for numerous publishers. After tea and biscuits we followed Maurice to the ‘secret location’ of his very large book warehouse stuck at the end of a lane in a delightful rural location. We parked up and spent the night of the summer solstice in Maurice’s field by his ‘man cave’ next to the warehouse. My only regret was the next day when Maurice reminded me as to how close we actually were to Stonehenge at this auspicious time, I could have gone and relived my hippy youth!
Spent so long looking at books that I forgot to take many photos but here is a montage of a few.

Zardoz

Top left – The man himself, Maurice Flanagan.
Middle Top – A poor photo showing a Tayler rough that was censored on the actual book cover – no blood!
Top right – Even my wife was fascinated by the amount of books.
Bottom left – A PAN display stand
Bottom right – Another PAN display stand
Middle – Something I just have to agree with.
Bottom middle – Parked up in brilliant sunshine after rain all the way down.

After showing the 12 Leslie Thomas covers by Paul Davies I found three from around the same time but with a squiggle by the drawing on the cover which I eventually twigged was G S for Glenn Steward. The picture on the front at the top continues over to the bottom on the back. I thought I’d be clever and join the two halves together not realising a large part must have been trimmed off so I’ve ‘recreated’ the missing bits. See them HERE

Finally I’m not usually into politics but I’d like to go on record as saying I voted to join the EU 40 years ago and now I’ve voted to remain in it. Just to say when it all goes horribly wrong it was nothing to do with me (if it doesn’t I’ll just keep quiet!)