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

More Sam, Morton Thompson and Colin’s Book

Sam and Kitty who appeared as so many characters in so many poses on so many PAN covers.

Thanks to Kathy emailing me bits and pieces as she finds them I’m adding to pages as I go along. I mentioned I’m making a list of Sam Peffer’s photos and the covers I think they go with which will be a long term project so pop back now and again to see the updates. A couple of pages I’ve updated are Sinners and Shrouds where Kathy sent me the photo used for the finished pose and another cover, Panther not PAN, showing Sam’s boots used on the cover of the The Cretan Runner

After making contact with the buyer of the 70 plus original artworks by Hans Helweg I bought a couple of the more obscure ones as they were within my price range. They were the two Morton Thompson titles PAN published in 1969 and although Alysoun at PAN tells me there were 25,000 copies of ‘Not As A Stranger’ printed that year I am having to make do with a scan of the printers proof as I can’t find a copy anywhere, anyone got one? I do have a copy of ‘The Cry and the Covenant’ but I need one in better condition. Now if I want a copy of ‘Not As A Stranger’ from 1959 listed as M1 there seems to be dozens probably because it went through so many printings with the same cover surprisingly also by Hans Helweg. The list I have that Hans complied of his covers seems to skip 1969 but around that time he was being paid £58.16 a cover.

As has been mention several times Colin Larkin of  pop music books fame has been writing one covering the artists and artwork of the first 25 years of PAN Books. Due to several unforeseen circumstances it is only now finished and should be going off to the publisher this month for release in the New Year.  Colin sent me a very brief but full of feeling email saying “It’s frickin’ finished — after 30 bleedin’ years — its finished” which sounds like the words of a very happy man. The final piece was trying to find a copy of the photo of Sam Peffer posing as the figure on the front of ‘The One-Eyed Witness’ The only one on several sites was the one I had had on mine and was much too small to be used in a publication. Unfortunately in my ‘Great Computer Crash of 2104’ I lost all the originals but once again Kathy came to the rescue and found an image we could use (everything is now backup in triplicate) Annoyingly I can’t find my copy of the book to rescan that was signed by PEFF and says he’s the model hence the one on the page is enlarged poorly!

Bond Covers, Colin Backhouse and Sam Peffer

Since I put the Bond cover negatives on Facebook there has been a lot of interest shown in them and in fact there are now references to them on a couple of sites. Click on the banners below to see the articles.

My normal reading matter is something in the adventure/detective line but someone recently mentioned a couple of books  featuring the village I live in. I’ve now read them both and found them not as bad as I thought and I did find myself reading ‘Essie’ quite fast to see what happened in the end. The reason I mention it is because it has a cover by Colin Backhouse and I’ve managed to find all of one cover he painted for PAN, are there any more?

I’ve decided I’m not going to do a negative a week as it could take forever so I’ll just add them to Sam Peffer’s page as I work them out (not all the ones listed have a page yet, more for my reference) It will also include Arrow, Hodder and Digit covers  as I’ve found a few of those to go alongside the PAN’s.

David Scutt, Sue Grafton, on film and another negative.

As promised recently here is a link to the four covers David Scutt painted for PAN with a very recognisable one amongst them.

Although not PAN I’ve been trying to get hold of the last two Tom Adams covers for titles by Sue Grafton in her ‘Alphabet’ series. I was short of ‘E’ and ‘F’ but luckily spotted them amongst a bundle on eBay but as the price was not that much and the postage was the same as often quoted for one book I went ahead. I have now added them to the page HERE

I was really pleased to get an email from Miles Deverson with a link to an item for the ‘PAN Books as see on film’ section. It’s ‘Quiet Morning’ featuring everyday family life in suburban North London as seen by folk learning English in 1955. It’s worth watching it all especially those who grew up with the ‘Ladybird’ reading scheme but the most interesting part is at 8 minutes 15 seconds. Click HERE for the link. Still trying to work out if they are PAN’s in the stacks?

This weeks negatives are for ‘Sinners and Shrouds’ by Jonathan Latimer

Spoletta boots, Rex Stout artwork and negative number 3

When I was vising Kathy Ford looking at Sam Peffer’s props amongst them were a pair of boots and an army hat. I’m still trying to track down the cover featuring the hat as modelled by Burt Kwouk (the ‘go to’ far Eastern character model)  The boots are shown on the cover of ‘The Spoletta Storyand I’ll see if there is a negative to go with this. I’ve also included an earlier version of the cover by Clixby Watson that was not used.

I bought a piece of artwork last week on eBay that was NOT Pan but I liked the look of it. It had been on a while getting cheaper and cheaper with each relisting and then was make an offer. As usual I offered something ridiculously low and amazingly it was accepted.
The artist, David Scutt,  made contact to say the postage and packing was a lot and would I like to meet up halfway to pass it on. It then transpired David had four more covers in the series and would I like them and at the same price for each as I paid for the one eBay to which I said “Yes please”
We met up at the National Trust property of Upton House which has not featured in ‘PAN Books as seen in NT properties’ as it doesn’t have any that I’ve noticed. 
David had in the meantime found another four covers making a total of nine of the ten covers in this series. The tenth one David gave to a friend who helped him with the research.
Click HERE to see the Rex Stout ‘Nero Wolfe ‘ covers from Sphere.
David painted at least four covers for PAN of which I have two and the others should be in the post so watch for a link in a future blog..

As promised here is another photo from the negative showing the composition for a cover. This time it’s Gently with the Painters’ which would be one of my favourites if it wasn’t for the ‘green man’ absent from the original. Kathy Ford says she still has these paintbrushes.