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

‘ROOM’ ‘The Dam Busters’ and Ballantine.

Just a quick blog this week as I am down in Kent and trying to do this on my phone is not that easy!

After putting the covers of ‘ROOM’ on the site last week I managed to find my proof copy which I’ve now added HERE 

I also heard from fellow PAN Fan Jeremy Birch asking if I had noticed it was the 75th anniversary of ‘The Dam Busters’ raid on the 16th which now I recall was on the news but didn’t really sink in. HERE is the page I made a while ago to show the many different covers that were used by PAN since 1955.

I’m also communicating with Doug Anderson regarding the titles jointly published by PAN with Ballantine in the ‘Adult Fantasy’ series (not quite as exciting as it sounds) He put on his blog a list of the thirty five titles and I find I have all thirty five with thirty three of them as UK printings and the other two are just Ballantine from the US, sounds like those two are the next challenge. I will scan all the covers and put them on the site soon. Click HERE to go to Doug’s excellent blog.

Finally I’ve just remembered today (28th May 2018) would have been the 110th birthday of Ian Fleming. I did try to find a photo of him with a PAN J.B. but failed.

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.

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.

PAN’s 70th Birthday Bash Part 1

Last Tuesday was a first for my wife and myself, mixing with the literati in London and having to put up with a constant stream of alcohol and sausages! It was really good to meet up with Gordian Young and his fiancée Chrissie after communicating by email for nearly 12 months. They were staying at the same hotel as us so we walked round to Foyles together and afterwards went back for a meal and a long chat.

Gordon said he blamed me for getting him into all of this but I know he was secretly very pleased to be there and to be able to tell his story. He emailed me later to say “I have been wandering around in a slight daze since getting home on Wednesday but am beginning to be my normal laid back self again. Despite my early misgivings and reluctance to come up to London, I am pleased that we made the effort”

Here is Gordon with PAN archivist Alysoun (right) and Harriet from the Collector’s Library. Gordon was looking very naval and wearing a vintage PAN tie.

Since then Alysoun Sanders has been down to the south coast to visit Gordon and has made recordings of him talking about his work back then which will go into the PAN archives along with the flag from the boat the ‘Laloun’ Alysoun has invited me along to the archives so I may get to see this flag.

I was going to write more but I have got four articles that appeared on line the next day so I’ve included them HERE. As the webpages were in danger of disappearing I made screen grabs which made largish files so hope they don’t take too long to load in. There were many more photos taken by a professional photographer on the evening and I know it sounds egotistical but I hope I’m in at least one of them to prove I was there! Just awaiting site logon details.

I’ll add more next week about the six Golden PAN’s awarded but in the meantime here is a photo of Julia Donaldson of ‘The Gruffalo’ fame who very kindly posed for me and of her own volition held up one of my cards (I know it’s upside down but I’m more than happy with what I got)

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.

‘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.

Rubik’s PAN Connection

Erno Rubik first came up with the idea of his ‘Cube’ in 1974 but it didn’t really take off until 1981 when it won several international toy awards. Suddenly everyone was cashing in on its popularity by publishing books on how to solve it. PAN, to be different, published their ‘Not Another Cube Book’ in 1981which was also published by Ballantine in the States at the same time.

Rubik later went on to develop his ‘Snake’, his ‘Tangle’, his ‘360’, his ‘Magic’ and his ‘Clock’ As far as I can see PAN ignored the first four but did publish the authorized edition of ‘Rubik’s Clock – A Quick Solution’ by Angus Lavery. This is a very thin publication, in fact I thought the padded envelope it arrived in was empty, which was another PAN printed in Australia in 1988 by The Book Printer, Maryborough, Victoria. I presume The Book Printer is part of the McPherson’s Printing Group as they share an address and say on their site:

“……. now, more than 60 years later, that same company is the leading book printer in Australia, with big names like Penguin, Pan Macmillan, Allen & Unwin, CCH, Scholastic and Harlequin among its many loyal clients”

Hopefully someone ‘down under’ can confirm this – Bill?

…. and finally if you want an instant collection  of PAN books here’s one Bazaar Fullmore spotted. I’ve scrutinised it very closely and can’t spot anything I’m after so feel free to bid.

‘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.

John Doxat “Stirred – Not Shaken”

Back in July fellow PAN Fan Jem Birch asked me about titles, namely which were the shortest and which were the longest. Well it turned out there were several contenders for shortest including  ‘Jet’, ‘Mia’, ‘Sex’, ‘BRM’ and ‘Raj’ but only one for the longest ‘Booth’s Handbook of Cocktails and Mixed Drinks’ by John Doxat. This was first published by PAN in 1966 and a revised hardback edition was published in 1967 by Arthur Barker which seems to be a reverse of the norm.hardbackIn the blurb in the PAN 1983 edition it says “John Doxat, who has been described in an American journal as Britain’s ‘foremost thinking drinker’, was born the day the Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated at Sarajevo; was educated at Charterhouse and in Paris; practised varied journalism (wartime service in the Intelligence Corps); went into PR i9, and thence into the broader field of publicity and advertising with Booth’s, and in 1969 became publicity manager of Buchanan Booth’s Agencies Ltd, the DCL subsidiary, distributors of Black & White and Buchanan’s Reserve Scotch Whisky, Strathconan Malt Whisky, Booth’s Finest Dry Gin, High and Dry Gin, Cossack Vodka and Hine Cognac”

Click HERE to see the page of PAN covers including one variation from 1973 I’ve only found on an American sellers website where he is asking £42.28 plus £27.07 postage!!! Doxat seems to have written many books over the years but with a consistent theme, namely drink. One  has a link to another favourite of mine, James Bond, in that 007 gets a mention on the back cover of ‘Stirred – Not Shaken’ published by Hutchinson in 1976. This seemed like a very good title until I looked on Amazon and was amazed to see so many other books with the same title plus others with ‘Shaken – Not Stirred’

stirred
I’d love to go to the Los Angeles Vintage Paperback Show on March 19th this year but it’s not going to happen so I was pleased to see two PAN titles used in the montage for the Facebook cover photo.

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