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

“Thanks Jules”, Jackie Collins and Victor Canning

As I have mentioned before, if you have not seen Jules Burt’s ‘YouTube’ videos then you must give them a go. They are not just about vintage paperbacks but many other subjects with a retro theme. I can especially recommend the one ‘Vintage Paperback Collectors Resources – Summer 2020’ and this has nothing to do with my website and in particular this now regular Monday blog getting a mention. I try to include at least three things  and most of the time they have a PAN Books connection!

This week number two of the five signed PAN Books I got recently is ‘Hollywood Husbands’ by Jackie Collins from 1987. I went to put in a link to a page of other covers of her titles which I’m sure I had done but can I find it? I found a reference on another of my blogs saying I was going to do it but ………. keep visiting, it will be there one day, honestly. 

I managed to track down a couple more Victor Canning titles in the series where his name is in a distinctive style of type compared to an earlier series where it was the surname in a cartouche shape which can be seen HERE. I have two more I found on the net but although many sellers show them they are more often listed as ‘Stock Photo’ plus one in the States where the quoted postage is over £18! Click HERE to see the later series.

Bit short of time this week as we have been down in Kent for a few days for our Grandson’s Christening. It was amusing in church where we all had to wear masks watching the vicar trying to blow out a taper while wearing his.

‘Flood’, Kevin Tweddell’s Artwork and ‘The Stone Leopard’

As I mentioned a while ago I got several signed PAN editions and here is the first one, namely ‘Flood’ by Andrew H. Vachss and it’s not quite the standard run of the mill edition but a ‘special advance reading copy’ no less! I’ve not found many around but I did spot an auction site where one of the lots had several copies but as usual can I find the page now to check? I’ve included a scan of ‘Blossom’ as although PAN published many later titles by Vachss this, ‘Flood and Strega’  are the only ones with the ‘PAN Man’ logo on the spine if not the cover that I’ve spotted so far.

After a bit of negotiating I managed to pick up a piece of original artwork by the late Kevin Tweddell from his daughter. It was a little more than I usually pay but as it is a triptych I suppose I am getting three covers for my money plus they were also used on the later hardback editions from Severn House Publishing. You can see a better image of the artwork and other titles by Pamela Belle by clicking on the image below.

I am puzzling over two cover versions of The Stone Leopard’ as to why PAN felt the need to alter the one from Canada dated 1976 to when it was republished in the UK in 1985? Both versions have Gino d’Achilles’ monogram and he also did another version I found on line but unfortunately can’t find a coy for sale to buy and to check the date, anyone out there with one to spare?

Secret Lives, Signed, ‘Great Poems’

Having ‘confessed’ in the past to have a collection of all the ‘Confessions’ books using the excuse they are based around where I live so for ‘research’ purposes I found a similar series from PAN. They are ‘The Secret Lives of ……’ and I have eight titles so far but looking at the listings inside that might be the total number. When I have finished reading the ‘Travis McGee’ series I’ll give these a go. Speaking of these I’m not sure about the ‘McGee’ books as they have so disparate story lines I think they could be standalones with ‘McGee’ superimposed on top. They lost all credibility with me when MacDonald has ‘McGee’ hiring an Austin Moke with an ‘air cooled engine’ and as everybody knows the Moke had the ‘A’ Series water cooled engine, poor research!

I saw someone selling a signed copy of a Douglas Reeman title on eBay at a very reasonable price and when I looked I noticed they had several other signed PAN titles by different authors. As they were all at a price where it would have been rude not to bid I got all five as luckily nobody else did. They are yet more copies signed to ‘Celeste’ who as I’ve come to discover was Celeste Parsons employed at PAN  and who must have passed on her signed copies to many dealers as I bought them from at least four different sources up to now. I’ll put them on over the next few weeks

Having many ‘searches’ logged with various book sellers I am sometimes surprised at what comes up and here is a case in point. It was for a hard backed version of  PAN 116 ‘Great Poems and erroneously listed as published by PAN although there is a connection. This edition was published by the ‘University of London Press’ with acknowledgement to PAN as below. My copy seems to have been presented to someone who worked at ‘Eagle Star’ as there are three pages of signatures from their colleagues. Some might say this devalues the book but I think it just adds to its history. My PAN edition has the price stamped on which is unusual as I only have a few other titles like this, it is more often a sticker.

Sad News, ‘Airport’ Proof Copy and Diet!

I was really sorry to hear that Lizzie Sanders nee Moyes had died last week after a long illness although she endeavoured to keep herself full occupied  for as long as she could. Sandy (Brian Sanders) emailed me to say “She has packed more into the last four years than many would manage in a lifetime. In the past year alone she has published – with her historian hat on – a book on the historic landscapes of Audley End and organised a village arts festival which raising a considerable sum for charities. She is currently trying to finish a map study relating to early Saffron Walden which was at the time called Chipping Walden and Brook Walden. I love her so much” My wife and I send our condolences to Sandy and Family and I will always think of Lizzie every time I see a Yorkshire tea box as it features her artwork. I have three PAN’s with her covers but I’m sure there is at least one more. HERE is a link to Lizzie’s covers and HERE is the link to a page I made after vising them in their home near Saffron Walden.

I don’t know why as they are not really that attractive for a site that claims it “does judge a book by it’s cover’ but I do like proof editions and  I recently picked up one for Arthur Hailey’s ‘Airport Part of the fun is looking through them to see what notes and scribblings have been added but this time I’ve drawn a blank just like in the book!

So after being told to stay safe, stay alert and social distance our beloved leader,  Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, now tells us we are all too fat and at more of a risk of catching COVID-19. Talk about ‘pot/kettle’ so as part of my effort towards being community spirited I’ve put together a few useful titles on a page HERE. Actually there aren’t that many, just different editions, but I do like my original artwork for the Stillman cover. I’m pleased it still has the colour swatches attached and it’s amazing that in some parts all the individual letters were stuck on by hand.

Only in the UK could the government tell us to cut down on our ‘fast food’and then subsidises restaurants, pubs etc. to offer half price meals for three days a week all through August! Unsurprisingly some of  these venues are re-closing due to outbreaks of COVID, just what I pay my taxes for. I’d get out more but they are now suggesting the over 50’s need to ‘shield’ themselves.

Magnus Pike, Jean-Paul Tibbles and ‘No Book Fair!’

Magnus Alfred Pyke OBE (29/12/1908 – 19/10/1992) was an English nutritional scientist, governmental scientific advisor, writer and presenter who made regular appearances on the television in the 70s and 80s. He opened the Information Technology Conference and I was there in Nottingham on the 21st January 1982 (Pyke is second from left but I can’t remember the others)  Pan also published three titles by him shown HERE and as one cover is by Jean-Paul Tibbles, as mentioned in a previous blog and  below, it all looks as though it was planned!

After mentioning Jean-Paul Tibbles a couple of weeks ago I’ve got around to scanning in some of the covers he produced for PAN but I’m sure there are a couple more including an E. V. Thompson. 

I’ve used the above before as when I asked Jean-Paul if he had a photo I could use he replied “The pilot on Derek Robinson’s Piece of Cake was posed by me so you do have an image of the illustrator from that time. As I was OK for the role it saved on the model fee, though no expense was spared on the costume. Unfortunately  Berman and Nathan’s Battle of Britain pilot costume, though genuine, was from later in the war. Gary (Day-Ellison) showed me the letter that PAN Books received pointing this out. I thought I had done it ‘properly’ but I got shot down.”  To see the page click HERE 
(Jean-Paul Tibbles was born in 1958 in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire and studied at Eastbourne College of Art. His work has been seen in the Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in 1988 and 1989. He has exhibited in the annual exhibitions of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (2001–12) and the Portrait Society of America International Competition (2002–7) winning the Grand Prize in 2008)

Unfortunately, as was expected, my favourite book fair of the year has been cancelled. It will be quite a blow to them as well, as last year they raised over £50,000 in the two weeks for which it ran. I like it because you get the feeling that there could be a bargain or two out there that may have slipped in under the wire although Clive is fairly astute – and they aren’t judgemental when it comes to what they think is or isn’t going to sell unlike a lot of charity shops!