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

Happy New Year, Louis Shabner and Pat Owen

Now Christmas has come and gone and with the New Year approaching fast who knows what 2022 might bring. Let’s hope it’s better than 2021 and that life can get back to some sort of normality.

I’ve mentioned Stuart Webb’s book about the life and work of Louis Shabner before so I was very pleased to have it arrived just before Christmas but then it somehow became one of my presents! ‘The Art of Louis Shabner’ is published by Telos who also published ‘Cover Me’ It is a fascinating look at the work of someone who may not be a household name but whose paintings had appeared in advertisements, on walls as calendar and as prints. What is of relevance to PAN Fans is that Shabner also painted 22 covers for PAN but under the name ‘SHELDON’ plus 14 for Arrow and 6 for Fontana which all featured in the book.  It was a strange coincidence but the first page I looked at had a photo of Betty Shabner in front of a painting that looked familiar. I have one print of Shabner’s work on a calendar featuring ‘Miss Felco 1978’  and this was it. (I hope Stuart and Bernard Crossley won’t mind me using this photo) Of course me mentioning ths book has nothing to do with a couple of name checks – thanks Stuart.

When I was helping Colin Larkin obtaining copies of the titles to go with his original artwork we were intially puzzled by ‘The Virgin Of Kwangtung’ as PAN didn’t publish a Pearl Buck under this tilte. It turns out it was published as G558 ‘The Devil Never Sleeps’ It could be that it was a mix up with the German edition which was’titled The Girl from Kwanngtung‘?This books was also published as ‘Satan Never Sleeps’and ‘Flight from Terror

‘Happy Christmas’ Pan Fans, My Present, Bertie Again And A Video.

I’ve always found the best way of getting what you would like for Christmas is to get it yourself and this year is no exception. Having acquired all of Johnny Main’s archives for his proposed ‘Horror Stories Scrapbook’, which unfortunately didn’t materialise, I asked Les Edwards if he was now selling his artwork for the cover as previously he was holding on to it. It was later used for ‘Back From The Dead’ This time he said I could have it and so this was my present, now to decide on a frame and where to put it.

Having mentioned Herbert van Thal last week I thought I would feature a book, although no real PAN connection, he wrote to impress a lady back in 1931. It is entitled ‘The Old Lady Makes a Cup of Tea’ which he had privately printed to prove he was published author! There were 250 copies of which the first 200 were numbered and signed. It is interesting in that he uses ‘B’ for Bertie and not Herbert when refering to himself. My scanner had problems with his signature and number being written in a light ink but hopefully it can been seen as number 10.

…. and finally just a quick end piece to say I heard from Jules Burt who recommended a video by Stephen Andrews. Stephen looks at the PAN S/F ‘lozenge’ books as he calls them. It is over an hour so you may want make yourself comfortable or just dip in now and again. Although Stephen is more intrested in the content it does remind me how fantstatic some of those covers were with only the occasional ‘clunker’

Pastiche Covers, Roger Malisson and a couple of page updates.

There are many sites with pastiche covers of PAN books which are usually Bond related although not always. I couldn’t resist buying some from Sean Longmore as they are real cards. Click on the images to see them enlarged.

I came across this postcard which was sent to an address in Manchester and was wondering if PAN actually published any of Roger Malisson’s three stories mentioned? On looking through the lists of authors featured in the ‘PAN Horror Stories’ series I couldn’t find any. While looking a little deeper I came across a reference on ISFDB giving more details;
“Catherine Gleason said that she wrote the Roger Malisson stories with a lady called Rita Morris, and the name is an anagram from both of their names. Catherine and Rita were both twenty when they started writing, fresh out of college. They tried to write Mills and Boon books, but got so far, and found that the stuff they were putting in was rather naughty. Then they tried ghost stories and they sent off the first story Lady Celia’s Mirror was sent off to four or five publishers, with R. Chetwynd Hayes taking it first. Herbert van Thal also said he would take it, and Catherine phoned him up, very innocent about it all, saying that that would be great as it was already going to be in Ghost 11 – and Bertie roasted her over the phone for quite a while! Roger Mallison would only be published by Bertie the once, in the 2nd Bedside Book of Strange Stories.”
This story was ‘Regression’ in which Clare Marshall suffers nightmares where she is confronted by a tramp-like maniac with a knife. These are so horrifically realistic that she’s taken to attacking husband Jim in her sleep. When she claws at his eyes, he realises it’s time to get her some psychiatric help ……….

Talking of Herbert van Thal I have just added to a couple of existing pages one of which was is for the later ‘Horror Stories’ where I have added the original artwork for four of the titles. I was particularly pleased to track down Rob in the States who owns the Josh Kirby cover for book number 13. He won it on November 9th 2014 for $448.13 from Hertage Auctions. The second page is for the PAN window display competition usually featuring James Bnd titles. I’ve added the entry form for ‘Goldfinger‘ after Robin Harbour pointed it out to me on a Facebook page. It is now there with the others from Robin’s scrapbook.

Jules’ Videos, Plaidy’s ‘Borgias’ & ‘Henry’ and Johnny’s Book Project

Once again Jules Burt has produced another couple of excellent videos with PAN Books themes. The first one is for the non fiction titles published as ‘Pipers’ between 1963 and 1970. These are not to be confused with the later children’s titles also published as ‘Pipers’or ‘Young Pipers’ from around 1987 onwards. To see the video click HERE and to see the list of PAN Pipers on my site click HERE All the Pipers need to be rescanned at a larger size but that will have to be ‘another day!’ The second video is where Jules had been following prices that PANs have sold for and produced a top ten list of those that seem to be most expensive, currently but they do tend to fluctuate. Click HERE and see if you agree or why not comment on what you would have/have not included?

This weeks Plaidy covers are for her ‘Borgias’ series of which there are only two plus the solitary title in the ‘Henry of Navarre’ series if you can call one a series? The good news is that these covers are all by Pat Owen and I’ve included photos of the original artwork.

Johnny Mains and Robin Ince are curretnly looking for sponsors for their third outing of ‘Dead Funny Horror Stories’ and if you like to help then click HERE to go to the ‘Unbound’ webpage. I’ve put my hand in my pocket but I think it needs quite a bit more support at the moment!