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

Gordon Crabb, Printer’s Proofs and ‘Orlando the Marmalade Cat’

Having found some original artwork for a couple of PAN covers I enquired about the price and was very pleasantly surprised at what was being asked. It would have been rude to turn them down especially as they were coming directly from the artist himself, Gordon Crabb. His biography states Gordon was born in Richmond on Thames and studied at Twickenham College of Art. He graduated in Illustration (S.I.A.D.) and was first represented by the agency, Young Artists (later Arena) in London. He started by illustrating book covers for the UK publishing market then early in his career he visited New York with his illustration portfolio which resulted in working for many of the US publishers; firstly Bantam and Dell, but then also for Tor, Penguin, Avon, Pocket Books and Bookspan, largely for fantasy covers. He also produced many covers for Western novels and the original paintings became highly collectable. He sold them through galleries in Texas initially but now he sells directly to collectors. He has exhibited paintings, drawings, illustrations and prints in London, Cardiff, Manchester, New York, Connecticut, Texas and, of course, his home town of Aberystwyth. He currently works on the covers of many of the British bestselling historical fiction in the UK, and he’s well known for his attention to detail, particularly with the heroines and their costume. He has now built a library of stock images for this genre of fiction and this is used to great effect by many of the European publishers’ The first of the artworks is for The Snow Walker’ by Farley Mowat which I’ve put on page I’ve made for Gordon and I’ll show the other next week.

It was nearly two years ago that I was able to buy the original artwork for Pamela Belle’s ‘Heron’ series painted by the late Kevvin Tweddell thanks to his family who had it. It was only while tidying up the packaging last week I found I had also got the three printer’s proofs as above. 

PAN published two of the nineteen titles in the ”Orlando the Marmalade Cat’ series, written by Kathleen Hale (24/05/1898 – 26/01/2000) under their Piccolo imprint. I was looking at them with a mind to reading them to our Grandson when I began to wonder if anyone else thought them a bit strange but then again it could just be me?