I received an email today from Vicky, Derek Stowe’s daughter to say, sadly, he had passed away on the 24th September and I shall miss our infrequent chats on the phone where we often put the world to rights. Condolences to Vicky and all the rest of the family. Here is a passage in Derek’s own words as to how he started at PAN.
“Top artist Derek A Stowe has designed a striking front cover, featuring the principal artists and a plug for the film” A first print run of 50.000 copies was ordered. This quote and publicity for me was, I can only assume, spotted by the major paperback publisher at that time – PAN BOOKS I was surprised to receive a Telephone call from Mr George Kam who was the Commissioning Editor for Pan Books. He asked if I would consider working for PAN? The fee would be 25 Guineas per book. I was delighted!
Sad to say very shortly after I heard from Vicky I got an email from Steve, Tony Whitehorn’s son to say, sadly, Tony had passed away on the 31st August. Condolences to Steve and all the rest of the family Here is Tony talking about part of his time at PAN in his own words.
“Unlike at Panther, I did nothing but write blurbs at Pan. For books you enjoyed or admired you set about writing selling copy with some relish; for those that were of indifferent quality you got on with the job with what amounted to a mental shrug; but for the occasional real stinker, so bad that you wondered — along with Bos and Paul — why the expletive it had been bought in, you had to grit your teeth to crack it up in the usual way, to persuade people to waste their money on it”
It’s ironic that while Derek did the front of the books Tony did the backs. Both will be sadly missed but hopefully live on in the history of PAN Books.