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 www.tikit.net or www.panfans.club

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  www.tikit.net or www.panfans.club

Denys Parsons, ‘Miss Silver’, ‘Belle Catherine’

Denys Parsons collected together items from papers of mistakes, misquotes and double entendres. He was the grandson of actor-manager Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. and originally worked in the field of scientific research and invention. He then became a film-maker and finally ended up as the Press Officer for the British Library. Click HERE to see the his PAN/Piccolo titles.


PAN published four of the thirty two ‘Miss Silver’ titles by Patricia Wentworth including ‘Pilgrim’s Rest’ from 1953 with artwork by Sax (Rudolph Michael Sachs) Hodder reused it for their 2007 edition of the same title but did not really do it justice. The other titles are ‘Miss Silver Comes to Stay’, ‘The Clock Strikes Twelve’ and ‘Grey Mask’


This week is the last of the Hans Helweg artworks I got back in October but I do have a lot more of his sketches for covers that I will add if I can identify them. The artwork is for ‘Belle Catherine’ by Juliette Benzoni from 1968 for which Hans got paid £58.16. He is also painted the cover for ‘Catherine and Arnaud’ as in this photo I took in his studio. I’m not sure who painted the later edition of ‘Belle Catherine’ but it looks like it could be John Raynes?


As I am currently having problems with the ‘Comments’ option if you have anything you would like to say about this blog please send me an  EMAIL

‘H.H.G.T.T.G’ Boxed Set, ‘A Taste of England’, ‘Death Is Our Playmate’

Having acquired, over the years, several boxed sets containing different numbers of titles from theThe Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy’ I was pleased to find the above on a site in the States as I didn’t have one with just the first three titles. I’m not sure of the exact date of publishing although it will be ’42’ years in 2021 since PAN first published book one on the 12th October 1979.


Another boxed set but with a different subject this time, namely cooking and it contains three titles in the ‘A Taste of England’ series of recipe books. They appear to be the standard UK PAN editions but put in a slip case for an American company ‘LANDS’ END DIRECT MERCHANTS, INC’ with a trade mark registered in 1984.


This weeks artwork by Hans Helweg is ‘Death Is Our Playmate’ by Patrick Turnbull. I also found a few preliminary sketches by Hans to go with it. I found a photo of Patrick in ‘Argosy’ magazine plus just a few details of his life. Patrick Edward Xenophon Turnbull was born on 17 March 1908 in Barberton, Mpumalanga, South Africa, his father, Hugh, was 28 and his mother, Ethel, was 28. He spent many years in the army off and on and was married four times and had three children. He died on 23 March 1986 in Chilton, Oxfordshire at the age of 78.


As I am currently having problems with the ‘Comments’ option if you have anything you would like to say about this blog please send me an  EMAIL

Christmas Present, Mystery Cover And No ‘Memoirs’

I hope you all managed to have a sort of festive time in spite of the current restrictions and got a lot of the presents you were expecting? I recently couldn’t resist 36 small artworks by Glenn Steward to go with two ‘Camberwick Green’ titles and thanks to my wife being the generous lady she is, she bought me 40 custom made frames as my Christmas present. They needed to be made to measure as there was nothing their size readily available. I have to admit they  do look good and replaced several frames of postcards of pulp covers with dubious images maybe not suitable for our Grandson to ask about if he is ever allowed to come up here! Glenn Steward did many covers for PAN of which I have a few but don’t really know much about him so if any relatives are out there I’d love to add at least one photo of him.


Now going through the folders of sketches from Hans Helweg and there are some real ‘crackers’ to use a festive metaphor. I’ll be adding them to the book covers and artwork if I have it and put up a link on here to make it easier to find. There are also some that look familiar but just can’t quite bring it to mind such as this example. Can any one help?


One disappointment was the supposedly six book boxed set of PAN Books Sherlock Holmes titles I found online in the States. The webpage said it was this, when it arrived the label on the package said it was this as did the invoice so how come it was just one hardback copy of ‘Memoirs’ from Reader’s Digest, no connection to PAN at all? I should have know as fellow PAN Fan Stuart Radmore emailed to say he didn’t think PAN published ‘Casebook’ or ‘Memoirs’ as did Alysoun at PAN but we held out the hope that they might be Canadian editions but unfortunately not. On the plus side Stuart gave me the names of all artists for the covers PAN did publish plus I did get my money back, no quibble but I would rather have had what I thought I had ordered. It makes me wonder if this box set did actually exist at one time.


Here’s looking forward to a better New Year.


As I am currently having problems with the ‘Comments’ option if you have anything you would like to say about this blog please send me an  EMAIL

‘Rogue Roman’, Yvonne Gilbert and ‘No Comments!’

What a year it has been! I’d like to say not being able to get out and visit places has saved a bit of money but I think I’ve actually spent more stuck in front of the computer searching online. On the plus side I have been in contact with some very interesting people who are trying to keep themselves safe as well and are hoping, like me, for the vaccine in the New Year.


This weeks Hans Helweg artwork is for ‘Rogue Roman’ by Lance Horner. Just looking at it through the overlay which has really gone brown you don’t appreciate the how vivid the colours have stayed over the last fifty years. I have also been lucky enough to get a preliminary sketch and possible alternative cover which I’ve put on the page.


I recently got a unread boxed set of Judy Blume titles in Piccolo editions with most of the covers by artist Yvonne Gilbert. Click HERE to see them. I emailed Yvonne and she very kindly replied “Nice to meet you! Wow! Thank you. How on earth did you find them? My goodness—that was so long ago. I don’t know if I’d even recognise them these days. I vaguely remember them and you’re probably right about the date. The artwork probably never came back to me because most of it didn’t in those days—there’s certainly no trace of it now. The 3 titles sound somewhat familiar but it was pre-computer days so I have no record. You have reminded me how much has changed—posting artwork, having to take photographic slides, never seeing the artwork again! I feel bad that I can’t be more helpful Tim. I had a look at your site—I love those pulp fiction covers. I would love to have had some of that artwork!”


Thanks to Fred in Vancouver who pointed out that the comments were not appearing although I could see them when I went in as administrator. I’ve turned off the option on new blogs until I can get a fix. You can still see the ‘Comment’ option on older post and I will see them but you won’t. You’ll just see how many there are!

As a work temporary around I’ve added an email ‘envelope’ on the right.

RIP Le Carre, ’21’ This Week, Videos and George Macdonald Fraser.

I’m pleased to announce that this website has come of age being 21 years old on the 16th December. When I set it up back in 1999 it was cutting edge with frames, a higher than usual resolution and search etc. but time has moved on and every year I say I will update it BUT every year I manage to find ‘new’ old bits and pieces to distract me so the update gets put on hold. On the plus side a lot of the covers are now at a much higher resolution and size as I tend to rescan if I mention them in a blog but on the negative side it’s a really boring job! Maybe the update will never happen as I am a firm believer in if it ain’t broken then don’t fix it, it’s just a bit clunky and showing it’s age, rather like me.  Anyway here’s a joke from the latest edition of ‘Private Eye’ which amused me as it is pertinent in the trying times.


After trying for many years I’ve managed to obtain, thanks to Sam Peffer’s niece Kathy, two videos relating to the infamous Bonhams auction of ‘Original Paperback Cover Artwork from the PAN Archives’ held of 15th October 1991. They are self explanatory so I’ll just put the two links to ‘YouTube’ where I uploaded them for everyone to find.

Thames News Report from on the Day

The ‘Late Show’ from BBC 2

I captured this screen shot of the artist outside Bonhams but there is still one I have not managed to identify.

They are from left to right Rex Archer, Hans Helweg, Sam Peffer, ?, Edward Mortelmans and Pat Owen. Anyone help with a name as I’m sure I vaguely recognise him?


The author featured this week is George Macdonald Fraser. I recently picked up a few bits and pieces from his estate on eBay including a letter to him from PAN plus a PAN printers proof. As I have the other items I  include them on his page although not PAN but later titles PAN didn’t publish. George Macdonald Fraser’s extensive library was sold at auction and a catalogue can be viewed online by following the link HERE


NEWS JUST IN It was reported that John Le Carre died on Saturday. I’ll rescan all his covers for a tribute soon. From the web;
“LONDON (AP) — John le Carre, a spy turned novelist who became the preeminent writer of espionage fiction in English, has died at age 89
Le Carre’s literary agency, Curtis Brown, said Sunday that he died in Cornwall, southwest England on Saturday after a short illness. The death was not related to COVID-19. Born David Cornwell, le Carre worked for Britain’s intelligence service before turning his experience into fiction in works including “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy” and “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.”


Hans Helweg’s original artwork resumes next week. plus may have some great related news if the postman delivers by then.

Just one this week but it is a fantastic Christmas present.

I got an email from Sue Bell, Hans Helweg’s widow to ask if I would like a couple of folders of his sketches etc she had found while clearing out his studio. It would have been rude of me to refuse and what I received was a real treasure trove of preliminary sketches for covers for PAN, Puffin and a few other publishers. I will be adding them to the appropriate covers when I can work out which is which. Some are very obvious, so not so and some are a complete mystery so far but I do like a challenge.

This is just to show a random selection.

RIP David, ‘Ed McBain’ at last, Signed Printers Proofs and ‘The Reef’

I’ve just heard from Colin Larkin the sad news his brother, David,  passed away last Tuesday. Colin said he had only been speaking to him on Saturday as David had just got his copy of ‘Cover Me’ I’ll try and do a blog about his time as Artistic Director at PAN in the 70s and 80s later.


After spending more time (and money) that they justify I’ve decided to publish my updated page of Ed McBain titles although not finished but then again will it ever be?. The problem has been, like the Travis McGee titles, that PAN often just added a new cover to an old text block without amending the date so dating becomes difficult. This time I’ve put them under title in writing date order and I know there are still several variants to add as I have images but usually shown by sellers as the hated ‘stock’ photo! If I get another 1981 copy of ‘The Empty Hours’ clearly listed as the 1992 edition with photo of same! Luckily have got my money back on them all but I’d rather have the book I was expecting.


I spotted a couple of what I though were signed books on eBay but it turns out they were actually printers proofs signed by one of the authors namely Dan Morgan. They were for two of the four titles in theVenturer Twelve’ series, three by Dan and John Kippax while the fourth was a title just by Kippax. Still no idea who the cover artist might be, anyone know?


This weeks Hans Helweg artwork is for ‘The Reef’ by Keith Wheeler. Although Wheeler wrote several books PAN only seems to have published two, ‘The Reef‘ and ‘Peaceable Lane’ which might have a cover by Pat Owen? I like the way the artwork still has its colour ‘swatch’ for the title as this sort of thing, like the numbers, logos and even the titles, have got lost over the years.

‘Portrait of a Young Man Drowning’, ‘Testament’ and ‘Sherlock’

This weeks artwork by Hans Helweg is Portrait of a Young Man Drowning’ by Charles Perry (1924–1969) He was an African American author who was born in Savannah, Georgia. This was his only published novel intended as a homage to James Joyce’s ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’ The book was made into the film ‘Six Ways to Sunday’ from 1997 staring Debbie Harry and Isaac Hayes.


Having mentioned ‘Testament’ by David Morrell before, I was interested to see a copy of ‘Testament – The Unpublished Prologues’ on offer but as usual I should have done a little more research. The seller listed it as by PAN so I bought it but turns out it is from Subterranean Press but on the plus side it is a signed limited edition so one for the archives.


Another bit of ephemera I found was a bookmark listing several Sherlock Holmes titles now in ‘uniform editions’

Although it lists ‘The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes’ and ‘The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes’ I can’t seem to find any record of PAN actually publishing ‘Casebook’ in the mid 70s but ‘Memoirs’ is listed in a box set that is supposedly ‘in the post’ to me from the US as I type, I’ll update if it arrives but if any one can help with the other title …..?

‘Cover Me’, Raymond Chandler Matchbook, ‘Christy’ and an Update.

After 30 years of planning and research I am really pleased to see that ‘Cover Me’ by Colin Larkin is NOW available to purchase from Telos Publishing I have to declare an interest as I’ve know about this since 2004 and I am credited as Chief Consultant. I don’t think I’m down for a cut (am I Colin?) but in spite of that I would recommend you buy a copy anyway. Colin has used his extensive collection of nearly 600 original artworks as the basis and the focus is on the artists themselves. I have read it at least twice since then and really enjoyed immersing myself in those high quality images that leap off the page. Colin has produced a magnificent work that does justice to all those unsung, well up to now, heroes of the paint brush. I managed to put Colin in touch with artist Derek Stowe, Kathy Ford (Sam Peffer’s Great Niece) and he has also used some of my biography of Hans Helweg plus there are plenty of plugs for the website. The cover is based on The D.A. Takes a Chance’ by Sam ‘PEFF’ Peffer and the photo below shows Kitty posing on their own bed and candlewick bedspread.


I like it when I come across something PAN books related especially if it’s ephemera that would normally be thrown in a bin. This time it was a matchbook with some Raymond Chandler titles listed on the inside and a quote from ‘Farewell My Lovely’  on the outside. The quote is a bit odd in that as far as I can tell PAN never published this title! Click on the matchbook to see the the other side.

The matchbook was made by Bouldens of Southampton (choose Bouldens in the drop down manufacturer link) who specialised in these. It seems odd they mainly produced them for local hostelries but surprisingly the ‘House of Commons’ although not other national companies like PAN. I wonder if they did any others?

I hadn’t noticed until I went to scan the section from the book that the text in that and on the matchbook is slightly different as in one the barman ‘stooped’ but in the other he ‘stopped’ The former is the correct version.


This weeks piece of original artwork from Hans Helweg I recently acquired is for ‘Christy’ by Catherine Marshall. As far as I can ascertain this is the only one of her books published by PAN although they list three others on the back. Her full name was Catherine Sarah Wood Marshall LeSourd (27/09/1914 to 18/03/1983) and she wrote over thirty works of fiction and non fiction with ‘A Man Called Peter‘ made into a film in 1955 and ‘Christy’ a TV Movie and Series in 1994.


Just heard last night from Kathy Ford (Sam Peffer’s Great Niece) to say she was successful in her trip to Islington on the 3rd of November which would have been Sam’s 99th Birthday. She wrote All went smoothly with reuniting Kit and Sam. The weather was dry and sunny and not too cold.  I attach a pic of the headstone and flowers following the interment. Kit loved sweet peas and lily of the valley which she cut from the garden and dotted round the house in vases when they were in bloom, I can still remember the perfume from them” RIP Sam and Kathy

 

‘The White Rabbit’, Paul Davis and RIP Scruff

This weeks artwork from Hans Helweg is for ‘The White Rabbit’ the story of Wind Commander F F E Yeo Thomas by Bruce Marshall. I was pleased to see it was one of the few where Hans signature is quite obvious often having to search for a little HH hidden away somewhere. The acetate overlay has not stood the test of time well becoming very dark, like most of them from the 1960’s, but at least it is still attached. The artwork underneath appears as fresh and vibrant as it probably was when it was painted.


In one of those weird coincidences I heard from artist Paul Davies in Cheltenham, which was also where the Helweg artwork came from, to say he has published two books in support of a local charity, Longfield.. He is selling them at cost and if you are interested you can find details HERE.


Last week was a sad one in that we had to make the decision as to whether or not to have our elderly cat Scruff, who was in his late teens, put to sleep. The saddest part was he was still lively but just couldn’t eat due to problems with his kidneys and ulcers related to this. We like to think, that since he decided we would do as a home in 2009, he made the most of his time with us. Here is Scruff, the black and white one, with his possible daughter behind him, the mother of the daughter in the foreground and ‘Lady’ the fox. We’ll all really miss your Scruff. XXX