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

Pat Owen, ‘Angelique’ and Will’s Cigarette Cards.

While identifying which Nevil Shute covers were by Hans Helweg I found the original artwork for a couple by Pat Owen. Looking at others in the same edition they are so similar they probably are by Pat but I can’t attribute them all yet although a few are signed, these are ones I’ve included on the page. Sue, Pat’s widow, has promised me a list of all the artwork she knows about so hopefully a few more might be included there. The painting above hangs on the wall in the attic (it has been covereted to a bedroom I hasten to add) and was painted by Pat in 1980 as a member of the Guild of Aviation Artists

This weeks Hans Helweg sketches are for the 1968/69 editions of ‘Angelique’ by Sergeanne Golon (Serge and Anne Golon) Amongst the printers proofs was a cover for The Countess Angelique’ featuring one of Hans paintings but I don’t have a copy myself and couldn’t find a copy listed for sale. The only one I have with this ISBN is the Canadian edition. I contacted Alysoun at PAN who assures me that there are copies out there so I’ll just keep looking.
UPDATE Alysoun has now looked at their file copies in the archives and found they are the Canadian editions so maybe the printers proof is a one off and an edition was never issued with this cover, anyone got a copy?

After featuring Storm Jameson on a Will’s cigarette card card I managed to get an album for the set. There are forty cards altogether and feature some well know names from the PAN library of authors.
Here is the list →

Yvonne Gilbert, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and the last ‘Horizon’!

Having mentioning that I had been in contact with Yvonne Gilbert and her Piccolo covers in a previous blog  I saw one of her original artworks for sale on eBay at a reasonable price. It was for a page in her four book series ‘Me and My Pets’ and I recognised it as from ‘Me and My Rabbit’ I ordered a copy and was surprised to find I received ‘Me and My Kitten’, another copy ordered and this time ‘Me and My Puppy’ It was then I realised all the titles had the same ISBN and from sellers where they have ‘too many books to check editions” I bought three more hoping I would strike luck and this time got two copies of ‘Me and My Rabbit and one reply “we can’t find it” All I need now is ‘Me and My Pony’ to complete the set! I framed the artwork with a scan of the cover and appropriate page and was going to give it to my Grandson but then the seller said “I’ve got another eight pages, are you interested?” After thirty seconds of negotiating a very favourable price, well it was for me, I will now frame these the same but they may stay with me!

After all the publicity for The Queen’s Gambit’ by Walter Tevis on Netflix I got my copy off the shelf and found it was a 2nd printing from 1984 with a slightly different cover to a 1st. I think the 1st. is better with the PAN logo not to the side. I thought I look around for a 1st only to find the it’s silly prices time again. The cheapest seems to be £86 while the Australia edition’s price is eye wateringly silly. PAN published a couple of Tevis titles as a matching pair you can see HERE.

After trying to get all the PAN Horizons series I have been one short for a long time. I had a scan of the page thanks to a very nice librarian in Australia who had a copy and very kindly scanned it and sent it to me. Every now and again I go through my list of  wants to see if I can find a copy yet  (Yes, I do have automatic searches set up but they don’t always deliver) and for ‘Those Summer Girls I Never Met’ it is always seemed to be the Random House edition and illustration so when I spotted a copy on Amazon that said it was not as illustrated and was PAN I was really pleased. Now it has arrived I don’t think it has ever been opened let alone read. Perseverance pays off, now if I could just find that ‘Junior Crosswords Book 3’ …..!

‘The Werewolves of London’, ‘Leviathan’ and ‘The Aristide Case’

I was really pleased this week to be able to get the original artwork for  Brian Stableford’s ‘The Werewolves of London’ painted by Keith Scaife. I’ve added it to Keith’s page so you’ll need to scroll down to find it. The problem is now deciding what sort of frame to choose and which will leave the label stuck at the bottom still visible. I think these bits are all part of the attraction especially when it says ‘Don’t strip’ While looking for a PAN copy with a good cover I came across a French edition with a cover by Matthieu Blanchin and I couldn’t resist buying a copy for the weirdness

After mentioning the copy of ‘Leviathan’ that I had bought from a Hungarian bookseller not being sent because they were worried about them getting COVID from the UK – no I still don’t understand  – it arrived eventually. The cover is by Stuart Bodek but is not a dustjacket like I hoped it might be.

A while ago I was lucky enough to have been be given the original artwork for the book the  The Aristide Case’ by Storm Jameson. This was by Hans Helweg and was given to me by his wife Sue. It was Sue who also gave me folders of Hans sketches of which at least two relate to this title and I’ve put them together on the page. I can only find one other title by Storm Jameson published by PAN, namely ‘The Early Life of Stephen Hind’ from 1968
It was while I was trying to find a image of Storm Jameson that I came across a set of 40 cards featuring ‘Famous British Authors’ issued by W.D. and H.O. Willis in packets of cigarette of which one was Jameson. I couldn’t resist getting it and several more of the cards might appear at later dates as there are a lot of familiar names amongst them.
Apart from just the two books she also wrote forewords for PAN editions  of The Diary of Anne Frank’ and ‘Jane Eyre’
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‘Bind Your Own’ Again, ‘Owls in the Family’ and ‘Deliverance’

After mentioning ‘BYO’ last week as a way to ruin your PAN paperbacks by making them into tacky hardbacks I hadn’t noticed that these had a write up in ‘PAN Record’ number 19 from May 1958.

This week the Hans Helweg sketches are from PAN’s children’s imprint Piccolo namely ‘Owls in the Family’ by Farley Mowat. It’s nice to see a clear full signature.

Just looking at how many editions PAN published of ‘Deliverance’ by James Dickey. I have four with two of them being linked to the film with the first tie-in edition being shown on some of the film posters. While checking if there were any more PANs this one came up, the 1973 Swedish edition published by Pan/Norstedt ISBN 9117321913. Norstedt used the PAN imprint but later dropped it, maybe it caused confusion?

“Seven Years in Tibet”, Elizabeth Byrd and Dinosaur Jokes.

I recently picked up a rebound copy of the PAN 1956 edition of ‘Seven Years in Tibet by Heirich Harrer which caught my eye as it wasn’t the usual amateur job such as BYO (Bind Your Own) but a professional looking one. It has a sticker inside saying it was rebound as a hardback in Hong Kong. PAN released four different editions between 1956 and 1974 and not always with more attractive covers especially not the 1974 edition!

This weeks drawings by Hans Helweg are for ‘Immortal Queen’ by Elizabeth Byrd. Wikipedia says ‘Elizabeth Byrd (December 8, 1912 – May 11, 1989) was an American author. Her main body of work is historical fiction, and her most successful novel is Immortal Queen, a historical romance about Mary, Queen of Scots. Nine of her thirteen novels were published while she was living in Scotland” PAN published seven of her titles.

I was once told it cost a lot of money to produce books with things like the bullet holes or film sprocket holes for James Bond titles or the shape of a tombstone for the Grave Humour titles so I was surprised to find ‘The Dinosaur Joke Book’ was not a straightforward shape with the top rounded off.