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

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.

Julek Heller and Ralph Vernon-Hunt plus Wedding

Julek Heller was born in 1944 in Jerusalem of Polish parents, who came to England as refugees in 1947. Now living in London, Heller has been working on non-commissioned fantasy illustrations since 2000. I have tried to contact him via his website but no response so far.His first covers for PAN/Piccolo, are far as I can find, were ‘The Songs of Summer’ by Robert Silverberg and ‘More Irish Fairy Tales’ by Sineadde de Valera from 1979. He went on to paint several more covers for both imprints plus later ones under the TOR imprint. Some examples can be found HERE with more to be added soon.

I’ve been communicating with June Read in Canada this last week. She contacted me a while ago, then went off travelling but has now returned and is sorting out bits and pieces from when she retired from being Ralph Vernon-Hunts secretary in the 1970’s. Here is a taster with more to come next week. I’ve added the bit from the book cover as a reminder.
My son’s wedding in Kent went off really well last Saturday and although we did get the downpour at 2:30, just as we came out of the church (which had unfortunately been forecast all the proceeding  week) the sun shone after this. I was very proud of my wife with her reading from Shakespeare. Even the vicar said he didn’t want to sound patronising but it was one of the best readings he had heard. We hope Thomas and Catherine have a very long and happy marriage. On the minus side I’ve missed two of my favourite ‘must visit’ annual book fairs, the Methodist church in Lichfield and the Baddesley Clinton NT fair near Warwick both starting on the 5th.

A mention of Julek Heller and SF cover.

With my son’s wedding this coming weekend and having just survived a weekend of go-karting, an assault course in the trees and 10 pin bowling I should feel flattered that my son invited me along on his stag weekend.

While all this is going on and with holidays coming up plus our ‘Back The Track’ campaign the blogs may be a little thin (no change there I hear you say)

I have been offered some PAN artwork which may or may not be by Julek Heller but we can’t discover if it was ever used. Does anyone recognise the unicorn below? We’ve had it out of the frame hoping for clues but all there is written on it is the size.

Heller did several covers for PAN and I’ll show a selection of these next week but he also lists several PAN titles on his website which I cannot track down including the ‘Gormenghast’ trilogy. I’ve sent him an email but not reply as yet. As a taster here is one he did for Piccolo.


I’ve also been sorting out my SF titles and looking at cover artists. The one below is the first that I have found that uses this media.It says the cover is ‘Electrophotography by Laurie-Rae Chamberlain on the Cannon NP Color Copier’When I saw this I thought Cannon with two double ‘n’ but that’s what it says on the back of the book.

PAN/Pavanne, a bit of a mystery and a H&S nightmare!

Last week I mentioned Pan Fan Stuart down under in Melbourne had found another title with the PAN/Pavanne dual logo for me and then I found a couple more. They’ve all arrived and can be seen HERE. When I was looking for a copy of ‘A Tree Grows in Brooklyn’ only one in Italy popped up so how come there’s suddenly several on eBay? Mind you I did only pay 5 euros including postage so a bit cheaper than this although this one does have free postage.I’ve also included another Wendorf title as I couldn’t find an image but as one of her titles was PAN/Pavanne I though the other might be. As usual I assumed wrong BUT I do like the stamp inside from a seller in Thailand.

I also bought a wallet off eBay because it had the magic words ‘PAN Books’ written in it albeit in biro.It has silver mounts hallmarked for 1907, made by Edward Langridge & Co. in Birmingham and is stamped J.B. – you don’t think it might have belonged to ……. !Inside it says D.Frankham with an address in Dummer near Basingstoke (where PAN’s headquarters are located) I contacted Alysoun, the archivist at PAN, on the off chance she might know this person. She didn’t but had bought her house off another Frankham as apparently it’s a common name round there. I’ll keep digging on this one.

Bit of a short one this week as tied up with my other current interest (Yes I know it’s hard to believe there is more to life than PAN’s) namely opening up a disused railway track for walking/cycling. We need to clean up under a bridge where the ground is covered in rubbish and about an inch of mud. We have been pottering around down there for a while but when we got a contractor in to give us a quote it became a ‘health and safety’ nightmare. We’re told we can’t do it because of Japanese Knotweed, sharps and other drug bits and pieces and if in the mud we must be tied to a line held by someone on the dry bank. We wish we hadn’t asked. Here is a 1937 photo of the track when the enterprising owner of it used it to lay a water pipeline alongside, from Lichfield to Walsall over Highbridge Bridge. What’s that about health and safety?

Venturer Twelve, Nicholas Monsarrat and a few other bits and pieces.

While sorting I realised that I had four books in the ‘Venturer Twelve’ series by Dan Morgan and John Kippax. I’d missed number four as it is a solo effort by John Kippax. Just wondering who did the covers and why they didn’t do the last one in the same style but that could just be me. To see them click HERE

I recently spotted a listing on eBay which I had to buy to see if it made sense. It was a hardback copy of ‘Think Of Tomorrow’ by Nicholas Monsarrat published by Hurst and Blackett around 1930.What caught my eye was that it included a compliments slip from PAN as below. No, still doesn’t make sense.It also has a Triolet by Monsarrat on the first page signed ‘Nick’ and dated 16/10/1934
I’m still trying to find a page I had of all the PAN logos from around 1990 when they added an image to go with the genre. I’ve already mention Sci-Fi and Fantasy, here is a badge with the one for horror.….and talking of logos following on from me mentioning books with the PAN and Pavanne logos on the covers I was contacted by Stuart from down under who found another and kindly let me know. Since then I have found two more and I ordered copies of all three, two from the UK and one from the only place I could find it, namely Italy. Guess which of the three has arrived so far! I’ll put them all up hopefully next week.

Sad news, Sumner Locke Elliott and a useful buy of eBay

I was sorry to get a letter from fellow PAN Fan Jeremy Birch to let me know that unfortunately his wife had died suddenly in Italy. I never met Sharon but felt I knew her as Jem always sent me real letters but I replied to him via Sharon’s email address as he didn’t have one. A sad start but as Jem is a true PAN Fan, the latter part was of several PAN related questions I could answer.

I don’t know if it’s me but I can’t say I’d really heard much about Australian author Sumner Lock Elliot (1917-1991) apart from the one title ‘Careful, He Might Hear You’ I had in PAN. I noticed a later title ‘Waiting For Childhood’ by him which was printed in Australia. On looking at other titles I found three of which were printed in Australia. You can see the covers HERE and the Australia printings have a red asterisk next to them.

I was puzzled when trying to find a copy of ‘About Tilly Beamis’ as I have just got a copy of PAN’s stock list for May/June 1986 off eBay (very useful) and it listed this title as a PAN imprint but it was also listed by sellers as a PAVANNE imprint. I found an image which seemed to show the PAN logo but when the PAVANNE copy arrived it was the same cover. It was only on closer inspection I found it actually used the PAN logo but with the PAVANNE one underneath. Never come across this before, are there any more out there?

RIP Michael Bond, Playschool and a couples of Hitches!

Last week saw yet another children’s favourite depart, namely Michael Bond of Paddington Bear fame. He was born in 1926 and for a time worked at the BBC as a cameraman on ‘Blue Peter’ He left in 1965 to become a full time writer after his first Paddington book was a success. PAN published 7 Paddington titles but unfortunately at the moment I can only find 4 of them. Click HERE to see them and I’ll add the others when they turn up. He also wrote the Olga da Polga stories which although not PAN have been mentioned before.

I’ve managed to track down my two ‘Playschool’ covers I referred to last week and they are shown HERE

I’ve also realised I didn’t have a couple of Hitchcock covers from 1968 so I’ve added them to my Hitchcock page ‘My Favourites in Suspense’ parts one and two. It’s made me realise I need to tidy up the Hitchcock’s as they are all over the place.

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.