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

Golden PAN Awards, Lee Stannard and ‘Moonraker’

I mentioned two more ‘Golden PAN Awards’ last week and here are the recipients. The first is to Kate Morton for The House at Riverton’  published in 2006 with the award for a million copies sold being presented by Anthony Forbes-Watson in October 2019. 

The second is to the Pinch of Nom team on 9th January for a million copies sold of 100 Slimming, Home-style Recipes’ This title was only released in March 2019, reaching the million copy threshold by July 2019. Alysoun at PAN says “Maybe the fastest any author has achieved Golden Pan status!”

While still trying to track down the artists for the ‘Horizons’ series I got a reply from Lee Stannard who produced the cover for the one title I don’t actually have. It was the one a very kind librarian, Sally, in Australia scanned for me namelyThose Summer Girls I Never Knew’ by Richard Peck from 1991. If anyone does have a spare copy………? 
Lee replied “Hi Tim, Yes I did a few covers for Pan Horizons as well as Pan’s main list and Picador. I probably have the artwork somewhere but it would take some digging out – I’ll let you know if I unearth it sometime… thanks for the appreciation. Lee” Fingers crossed although so far I’ve only found the one Horizon title and this Picador. I was looking at it for quite a while before I realised what seemed familiar, my Grandfather was Edmund White as well.

I recently picked up a Bonhams photograph taken after the acrimonious auction of original PAN artwork back in 1991. It was a photo of the 1956 edition of Moonraker’ with the Josh Kirby cover but it was the sticker on the back I found more interesting which says how much it actually sold for.

Plastic covers, Hans Helweg, Alan Cracknell, Golden PAN Awards and RIP Sonny.

It’s about a year ago since I last updated the page of PAN titles with plastic covers and have now done the same again. So far I have fifteen but five of these are different versions of the same book namely ‘The 35mm Photographer’s Handbook’ I seem to remember that at one time 35mm was definitely going to become redundant but like vinyl records it’s coming back so might these titles?

Still adding Hans Helweg Childrens Covers or new scans when I’ve actually got the book rather than off the web. There is another ‘OUP’ structured reading title, ‘Lassie’,  an American printing of ‘Olga Takes Charge’, ‘Treat Shop’ and ‘Cowboys’ (the latter two include work by other artists) and another Puffin title ‘To Sunset and Beyond’

Thanks to Andrew Crease for recently leaving a comment which made me realise when I had put together a page for Alan Cracknell I had not included the two ‘Radio Times’ covers of his that I had (I’m sure there must be more) This has now been rectified and they can be found if you scroll down. Just as an aside when I was at teacher’s training college one of the tutors was Miss Joy Sinden who was the sister of Donald as on one of the covers. Apparently he visited her quite often but I never saw him.

Alysoun at PAN recently emailed to tell me about another Golden PAN being awarded for a million copy seller. I didn’t know about this one which made me go and do a search. I managed to find yet another I’d missed and I’ll tell you what they both are in the next blog but can you work out before then who is holding this one?

I’ve just found out that we lost a PAN stalwart on 30th December 2019. namely Sonny Mehta. Sonny launched Picador books in 1972 and later became Editor in Chief at Knopf. This photo below is one I took of him at the PAN 70th party where he was joined by Marilyn Warnick the Books Editor for “The Mail on Sunday” He is survived by his wife, the novelist and film-maker Gita Mehta, whom he married in 1965, and their son.

‘Morse’, Russell Braddon, Morton Thompson Junior and Jules Burt.

Occasionally I spot books at a price I can’t resist and hence I have now added a couple of later ‘Morse’ titles at the bottom of the page although one shouldn’t be there as it doesn’t pass the ‘Little Man’ logo test while the other does on the spine.

Back in October I spotted a photo for sale on Amazon from a seller in Iceland. It was of Russell Braddon holding his ‘Golden PAN Award’ for selling a million copies of ‘The Naked Island’ I expected it to take a while but was surprised to get a call from a Mr. Williams in Leicester to say he had my photo included in with one he’d ordered. He kindly posted it on last week and it cost him £7.40 to send it tracked. I hope he can get is money back from the seller who I’ve contacted to tell them about their mistake. I’ve also put on the page a copy of the programme for the ‘Naked Island’ which was done as a stage play. I find it amusing as it lists what must be sponsors such as ‘Bear’ brand stockings and ‘Abdulla’ cigarettes although it points out smoking is not allowed! It’s also good to see a familiar name in the cast, Sam Peffers go to Japanese soldier Burt Kwouk. I’ve also included a photo of the original Tayler artwork but as it was behind glass there are a lot of reflections unfortunately.

After mentioning the original Hans Helweg artwork I got for a couple of Morton Thompson covers recently (I’m still trying to find the 1969 edition of ‘Not As A Stranger’) I was surprised to see his son had more hits which is probably due to him killing his mother. Apparently on the evening of February 5, 1962, Morton “Bud” Harold Thompson Jr., 27, fatally stabbed his mother, Helen Sincere Scheuer, 53, with an ice pick. Scheuer was trying to solve a crossword puzzle at her kitchen table when Bud suddenly attacked her from behind. After receiving 11 stab wounds, she stumbled out of her apartment and called out to her landlord, Forbes Exter who immediately called the police but she died shortly. after.  Scheuer was a former newspaper writer and the ex-wife of former screenwriter turned best-selling author Morton Thompson. Scheuer and Thompson Sr. met while working together at the Hollywood Citizen-News in the early 1930s. The couple married and had two children, Milllicent and Bud, before divorcing in 1942. Afterwards, Thompson Sr. moved east, married his New York literary agent, and wrote the best-selling novel “Not As a Stranger” Thompson Sr. didn’t live long enough to see his novel adapted for the big screen. He died of a heart attack on July 7, 1953. Eleven days later, his second wife committed suicide. In court, Bud Thompson pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. However, after psychiatrists ruled that he was sane, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. Morton Howard Thompson Jr. died in a VA hospital in Prescott, Arizona, on March 29, 1989 at the age of 54.

Finally I’ve mentioned Jules Burt and his excellent YouTube videos before and can recommend the latest one featuring James Bond movie tie-in books. This had nothing to do with the fact that Jules gives my website a plug, thanks Jules.

Disarmament, a poster and a couple of dustjackets

Thinking of all our fellow book collectors out in Australia suffering the fires. I know we have many in the affected areas especially New South Wales and Victoria, stay safe.

Welcome to a new decade. In the late 1970’s and early 80’s there were many campaigns for disarmament and the ‘World Disarmament Campaign’ used an extract from ‘North-South’ in a leaflet they printed in 1981. HERE is a link to it and other related items on the same theme including more titles in the ‘PAN World Affairs’ series. I’ve not heard about the campaign for a while but apparently it is still going HERE but doesn’t seem to have had anything added to the website since 2006.

I spotted this ‘eye catching NOT‘ poster for ‘The Godfather’ on eBay in Australia but on looking at the price I might give it a miss.

NB Just noticed it’s now dropped by $50 but still not tempted.

I mentioned I was getting PAN 74 “Flames Coming Out of the Top’ with the second elusive book jacket as a Christmas present to myself. Well it was there amongst my presents (no sign of X705 Santa!) and I’ve re-scanned all the three variant covers plus the three for PAN 90 “Action For Slander’ On checking where they were printed I see all of the copies of PAN 74 state the text set up is by Richard Clay and Company Ltd but printed by Firmin Didot in France while the first two edition of PAN 90 are also printed by Firmin Didot while the third is printed by Richard Clay.

Just looking up Firmin Didot I see they are still going and they are under the name Societe Nouvelle Firmin Didot. Around 1800 the  family owned the most important print shop and font foundry in France. Pierre Didot, the printer, published a document with the typefaces of his brother, Firmin Didot, the typeface designer.

Talking of dust jackets makes me wonder if I’ve become allergic to dusty paperbacks as ever since I’ve been moving stacks around after Christmas I’ve had an awful cold but then again so has Jackie and she keeps well away from them!