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

Two Visits

As I mentioned last week I had two visits lined up and to quote Hannibal Smith “I love it when a plan comes together” There were no hold ups to speak of on the motorways, the weather was great and the company most acceptable

The first ‘port of call’ to use an appropriate idiom was Milford-on-Sea to visit Gordon and Chrissie Young who we last met 20 months ago at PAN’s 70th Birthday bash in London. Gordon was first mate on the Laloun back in 1947 bringing books over from France where they were printed due to a UK paper shortage. If you haven’t already done so click HERE to read the first part of his story.
Below is our camper parked up for the night on Gordon’s drive.

The intention of this visit was to catch up on his time at PAN as Export Manager and although we touched on it a few times we were too busy touring around the coastal villages, enjoying a very nice meal in a quite Lymington location and tucking in to Gordon’s five star breakfast.

Gordon did show me an album of post cards that were drawn by Charles Clixby Watson and sent to him every time he got a new assignment overseas. Here is the one he was received when he went to Africa. 

After saying “Goodbye” to Gordon and Chrissie and promising to meet up again soon we headed north to Basingstoke where we met up with Alysoun at the PAN Macmillan Archives.

Alysoun had kindly retrieved my one missing title so I could convince myself yet again it does exist in spite of all my searching. She also got out the print record, incorrectly listed as Piccolo which didn’t come into being  until 1971, to show there were 40,000 copies of the first print run numbered X705 while only 15,000 of a second printing with a SBN so how come that’s the one I managed to find?

Alysoun had also got out artwork, a lot more printing records especially for all the Bond titles, order sheets and several photographs from 1964 showing the PAN Macmillan warehouse in Basingstoke. You can see the vans with the name on the side and if you look carefully in the packing department there is a copy of ‘The Case of the Sunbather’s Diary’ lying on the table bottom middle.

I would like to say a very big “Thank You” to Gordon, Chriise and Alysoun for taking the time and trouble to humour an old man when I’m sure they had much better things to do (and my wife for indulging me)

PS More bits and pieces from the visits will appear in later blogs.

Stuart Bodek Update, Paperback Fanatic 41 and Mystery Visits.

I have mentioned Stuart Bodek in previous blogs but apart from his covers there was only a brief biography. I would now like to say a big ‘Thank you’ to Stuart’s son who emailed to say:
“Stuart was indeed a graphic designer who worked through Artist Partners, run by Brian Sanders (Lizzy Moyes’ other half, we think), in London until his death in 1996. Until the late 80s, he painted from Artist Partners’ studios in Soho’s Ham Yard – now redeveloped as a hotel and apartments – before relocating to a studio in suburban London, in what had once been my bedroom. He grew up by the beach (literally on the beach front) in Durban in South Africa, before moving to the UK in the late 70s. He was a talented drummer, playing in a band at a few venues around Durban in his youth. Painting mostly book covers, he regularly used “models” from within the family as the characters for cover illustrations – my Uncles, Aunts, neighbours, office colleagues and grandparents appear in quite a few of them!  His work was mainly a mix of landscapes, romance and action images, plus quite a lot of horror (some Stephen Kings) and murder mystery.  He also did some magazine illustrations (I remember a few in “OK” magazine accompanying short stories), a few celebratory stamps, some ads, a Showaddywaddy album cover, a fair few BT phonecards and other things like the Queen Mother’s birthday china. I think this below was one of them as it certainly looks familiar plus some BBC video box covers.

As a kid, we would always stop in airport bookshops when passing through and look for my Dad’s covers… he often had one or two amongst the bestsellers list! We still have several pieces of his original artwork around, as you can imagine. Unfortunately he died suddenly one evening, suffering a heart attack during a game of tennis in January 1996 – he played a couple of times a week and was always pretty fit, so it came completely out of the blue.


It was a strange coincidence that as I got the email a copy of ‘Road to Falconhurst’ arrived in the post and when I turned it over the artist was credited as Stuart Bodek.


Also in the post this week was a copy of ‘The Paperback Fanatic Issue 41’ from Justin Marriot which featured an article on the ‘Plantation’ genre and mentions the Onstott/Horner/Carter titles from PAN but is mainly focusing on the NEL titles. There will be a page showing the Carter covers in June as a birth/death tie-in.

It also had a couple of pages showing 6 PAN titles by E V Cunningham (Howard Melvin Fast) but there were actually 9 titles published by PAN. Cunningham appears to have used another 3 single female names as titles ‘Cynthia’, Millie’ and ‘Samantha’ but not published by PAN as far as I can ascertain. To see the 9 titles click HERE


… and finally this week, after 20 months since we first mooted it, we are off to distant parts to meet up with a couple of PAN related people and if all goes according to plan I’ll report back next week.

Falconhurst, a £100 note? and the PAN Record.

I recently bought a bulk collection of Lance Horner novels. I only wanted one but couldn’t find it anywhere else on it’s own but was really pleased to also find it included a variant on a title I already had. It was very subtle and I nearly missed it plus I found I had a third and they can be seen HERE

This is not PAN related but I am working my way through Clive Cussler novels as our library, sorry ‘The Book Exchange’, has a fine run of them. I had just read a few pages of ‘Odessa Sea’ when I had to flick back to check it did say what I thought it said.

A hundred pound note? The Bank of England doesn’t issue one although the Banks of Scotland and Northern Ireland do but no one would want one of those as it’s difficult enough trying use one of their £5 notes let alone a £100.

I have said for a while I would scan in all my ‘PAN Record’ magazines and make them into Flash powered books but as Flash seems old hat I thought I’d try PDF but have finally just resorted to scanning and putting on a page as in this example for Number 30