PAN Fans Club

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

PAN Fans Club - Let's talk about PAN paperbacks, the blog for those that do judge a book by its cover. Main site is at or

News from the Wirral and a Piccolo Series?

We have been away for several days so a very quick blog this week. We were camping on the Wirral where it has really been too hot to be pleasant so we looked for air conditioned places to visit. One was the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight where we kept coming across a film crew in almost every room. We tried really hard to stay out of shot(!) while I was trying to remember who it was that was presenting, the one with all the makeup who kept taking selfies? Turns out it was Giles Coren for a program on Sky Arts early next year. There is  a very tentative link in that there is a marble bust of PAN in the North Rotunda.PAN I also planned to visit the Williamson Art Gallery just up the road as it has a second hand book shop but we were ‘galleried out’ after nearly three hours so went down market and ended up sitting on the beach at New Brighton eating our sandwiches.

CrochetI spotted this title on a website and put in an order but still waiting for it to arrive to add a better image. Because it says ‘Piccolo Craft Books’ it sounds like a series but so far I’ve only found two titles., the one above and ‘The Piccolo Craft Book’ Anyone know of any more?

Just realised I’ve missed Raymomd Chandlers birthday on 23rd July. If he hadn’t have died in 1959 he’d have been 128. I’ll include his covers I intended for this week next week.

Finally I think this seller on eBay could be being a little too optimistic ……..Who

Brian Stableford and Angus McKie plus some more Piccolo updates.

There is a slight connection between last weeks blog and this in that they both include recycled artwork. On the Facebook ‘Vintage Paperback and Pulp Forum’ Ray Steptoe uploaded the cover of ‘The Paradise Game’ by Brian Stableford but said he didn’t know the artist. I thought it rang a bell and looked through my 1978 NEL edition of ‘Mechanismo’ by Harry Harrison and sure enough there it was on page 13 and credited to Angus Mckie. I’ve put together a page to show the six titles in the ‘Hooded Swan’ series by Stableford plus some of the same  artwork from other publications. I’m trying to track down McKie, who was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne in July 1951, just to ask him who commissioned the artwork, NEL, PAN or maybe they were for another publisher – any one help?


I’ve added four more covers to the Piccolo Picture Bafflers page plus an advert for them listing eight titles although I have found ten! Another cover added to the Colouring Guides so only ‘The Seashore’ (0330 298089) to go now. The picture below is from the back page of another title in the series.

SeashoreThe last update was one more cover on the Penelope Lively page for a later edition of ‘The Driftway’ with a cover by Eileen Gilbert

‘Zany Afternoons’ and a cover that’s still a mystery.

Randomly ‘Googling’ PAN covers, as you do, I came across ‘Zany Afternoons’ by Bruce McCall which was published as a Picador in 1983. It features drawings by McCall that appeared in the early 70’s in magazines such as New Times, Oui, National Lampoon, Crawdaddy and Playboy. I was forced to research this last title and managed to pick up a couple of editions from 1971 for a remarkably cheap price. I’ve put a couple of scans on the page. I hurriedly skipped past the pages of semi-naked ladies (typing difficult with fingers crossed behind my back) but lingered over the dozens of adverts for 8 track tape players.


A while ago I put on a cover and wondered if anyone recognised it as it was vaguely familiar. Well I’ve found where I’d seen it before but I don’t think it is right. The artwork is shown in an advert for the launch of a familiar book but I’ve never seen it in real life. Maybe a mock up using recycled artwork?  The advert is for sale HERE If anyone is interested in a single page ripped out of a publication for only …… have a look and see optimism.HH3UPDATE May have tracked down the artist, hopefully more next week.

3 Covers and a ‘How Much!!’ plus a Josh Kirby

As I’ve said many times before the pricing of books is a real mystery to me.
Having noticed I had three of the four Piccolo ‘Out and About’ series I thought I’d see if I could get the missing title. No luck on all the usual sites so I just thought I’d try some Amazon sites abroad as I’ve had some success in the past. I found the title “Farmer Joe’s Farm’ on a couple of them namely Italy and Spain. What I can’t get my head round is the price they were asking having only paid pence for all the others, how do they come up with these for a children’s 16 page book? Have a guess and then click on the sites below to see how close you came.


Did you get anywhere near? With the turmoil here in the UK and the pound falling against the euro I think I may have to give it a miss at the moment!

I have now got the third Dan McGirt book ‘Dirty Work’ with a Josh Kirby cover.

Finally I occasionally get asked some strange questions and I think Jem Birch wins for his last one but then again I do like a challenge. He asked if ‘Jet’ at three characters was the shortest PAN title and ‘The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner’ with 42 characters was the longest? Luckily I have all the titles in one mammoth spreadsheet so thinking back to all those courses I ran on Excel I remembered how to ask for the maximum and minimum characters in a cell. The results were:

X593 Booth’s Handbook Of Cocktails And Mixed Drinks 46
G714 The Second Pan Junior Crossword Puzzle Book 43
X537 The Girl On The Bus and Other Love Stories  42
G505 The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner  42

M213 Mia   3
MP106 Sex 3
X15 Jet  3

So Jem was right with the shortest but not the longest.