PAN Fans

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for

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

Stanley J Weyman plus RIP Brian Cant

I was just looking on-line for things to do for an upcoming visit to Ludlow when I saw a familiar name, that of Stanley John Weyman, who was born at 54, Broad Street, Ludlow on 7th August 1855. There isn’t a ‘Blue Plaque’ but there is a blue sign as it is now, amongst other things, the Conservative Party Office and the Driving Test Centre.Weyman wrote twenty nine books between 1890 and 1928 (he died in 1928) of which six titles were published by PAN The first was ‘Under The Red Robe’ in 1951 and then they waited nearly twenty years before publishing another five. The covers can be seen by clicking HERE. ‘Under The Red Robe’ was probably the most popular being filmed three times including this version from 1937.I’ve not had any luck trying to find out who the artist/s were who painted the covers apart from ‘Under The Red Robe’ which is signed Chas(?) Cattermole.

I was sorry to hear of the death of Brian Cant, a name from the time of both mine and my children’s youth. He was on ‘Play School’ for 21 years (previously having trained as a printer) when PAN Piccolo published several titles linked to the series on behalf of the BBC. Unfortunately I can only find one of mine at the moment but I’ll keep searching as I know I have several more. There is another link to Piccolo and ‘Play School’ I’ve mentioned before through Hilary Hayton.

Bet you didn’t see this coming!

I’ve only just discovered that PAN published a series of books for those that believed in astrology. They were titled ‘Teri King’s PAN Astral Horoscopes’ The early ones featured quite nice drawings of the symbols for each sign of the zodiac but I’m not so sure about the later ones. I have made a page to show some examples plus other titles from the lucrative astrology market. Click HERE to see them.

I would love to put together a set from the early 80’s to show all the 12 symbols but some of the prices asked are just silly numbers such as this below.

Short blog this week due to the weather being so nice we are going away in the camper after being tied up with meetings about our ‘Back The Track’ project which is certainly gaining enthusiasm if not any actual on the ground progress, still early days yet.

Pop Up Bookshop, a Couple of Covers and RIP Batman

I don’t think I posted this blog when I wrote it back in February so waste not want not as they say. I’ve updated the pop-up shop details with what should be it next appearance.

Nearly missed an event I’ve not seen around here before, a pop-up second hand book shop. It was in an empty shop unit in Wolverhampton and it doesn’t say much for the centre managements optimism as to re-letting it when they say the organisers can have it again at the end of August. Managed to find a few books but nothing PAN related unfortunately.I do like to keep our antipodean PAN Fans interested so here’s one for you. Alan Marshall’s Australia which was published by PAN (Australia) Ltd in 1882 and printed and bound in Australia by New Century Press. It cost me $5 with an unbelievable postage charge of $2. It arrived as quickly as some where I’ve spent several times the cost of the book in postage to not get any better a service.

And finally just when I though I was Daphne du Maurier’d out in PAN book covers along comes another one namely ‘Rule Britannia’ from 1974. I’ve added it to the page of others which can be found HERE.


UPDATE Sorry to hear of the death of Adam West who’ll probably be best remembered for playing Batman. I thought PAN had a pop-up book of Batman to go along with the ones they did for other DC heroes such as Superman, Spider-Man and The Hulk. Unfortunately as all the pop-up books are stored away ready for relocation later in the year I can’t check right now.

The Man From ? and a couple of deaths.

Not PAN but I feel they missed a chance when I spotted these two titles. How good would it have been to have ‘The Man From PAN’ Maybe I need to write it?

Sorry to say there were two deaths last week, both on the 30th May and both with a PAN connection.

Wendell Ray Burton (July 21, 1947 – May 30, 2017) was an American television executive and former actor. He is best known for his co-starring role as Jerry Payne with Liza Minnelli in the 1969 film ‘The Sterile Cuckoo’ with the book of the film being published by PAN in 1970 It was renamed “Pookie” in the UK after the character played by Minnelli.~

Molly Peters (15 March 1942 – 30 May 2017) was an English actress probably best known for her role as nurse Patricia Fearing in the James Bond film Thunderball. She features in the middle cell on the back cover of the 1965 edition. Just noticed on both of my copies they don’t have a UK price just the Australian one although they are both UK printings?

The Eric Tenney (non PAN) painting arrived last week and in spite of the best efforts of the seller to protect it, the carrier managed to smash the glass. Luckily the picture is fine and I was going to change the frame anyway.Finally had some great news this week in that we have at last got permission to go out on our local disused railway track to start clearing vegetation as we want to open it up as a leisure greenway. We walked it with the new Land Manger responsible for it and he was so enthusiastic I think we are still in shock after all the negativity we’ve had in the past. He even thought my hare-brained scheme was a good idea, namely to put back just a token piece of track (art installation?) All I need now is some rails, some sleepers and some very strong people!

Roger Moore PANs, a couple of covers and a new mag.

With the sad news of Roger Moore’s death last week I started sorting out all the PAN titles he appeared on and after a very enthusiastic start was quite disappointed to only find seven! Click HERE to see them but if you can think of any more please let me know. I was sure there would be some ‘The Saint’ titles but haven’t found any with the Moore TV tie-in.

UPDATE Just found he’s on the cover of ‘Gold’ from 1974 so now there are eight.

I also heard from a friend who has numerous pieces of original PAN book cover artwork and is currently trying to get copies of the books to go with the artwork. There are not many to go and I thought it would be easy especially for ‘The Slave Stealer’ as it is often advertised. It was only while trying to find the 1974 version that I realised how many were actually  the 1971 edition. Quite a ‘raunchy’ cover for a PAN. I might have to read it to see if it mentions what colour the voyeurs shirt actually was.

Lastly I noticed there was a new magazine out called ‘Infinitywhich includes an article on pulp science fiction by Neil Pettigrew, a name very much associated with the ‘Pulp and Paperback Fair’ in London, the next being October 29th. I was pleased to see six PAN covers amongst the examples.

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!