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

James E McConnell, Hans Helweg and Dictionaries.

I was really pleased to come back from a couple of days away to find my copy of ‘Minatare Masterpieces’ by Steve Chibnall had arrived. It’s a very lavishly illustrated (and weighty) tome and I was going to try and take some photos but found a video that shows more than I could. Click HERE to see it. My only complaint about my copy is that it looks like it has been dropped as the lower spine is wrinkled. I have one piece of McConnell artwork, the cover for ‘The Bounty Man’ by Mike M’Craken in the Western Library series and painted in 1951.

I’m always on the lookout for any books with covers by Hans Helweg and although this is not PAN it was painted at the same time as Hans was working on PAN covers and shows how versatile those artists were. It is ‘Boy on a Sheep Trail’ and is one of the 71 titles in the SRA Pilot Library series. Just wondering if Hans painted any of the others?

PAN always had an eclectic mix of non-fiction titles with several dictionaries on various subjects amongst them. I have taken a few of the ones on shelves to put on a page HERE. I do have more and will add them when I find the boxes I stored them in as most were too big to go on the shelf.

Just heard something which could upset a lot of peoples plans. There are planned train strikes on the 28th and 29th July, the day before the ‘Paperback and Pulp Fair’ in London on the 30th and they say this could disrupt services on the Sunday morning. looks like it is a case of wait and see.

Pop Up Bookshop, Dave Graney and Gabrielle Lord

I meant to mention this a while ago but other things came along. I managed to eventually visit the pop up bookshop in Wolverhampton, which finished last week, and sorry to say I was very disappointed this time. When it first started there were several tables with vintage paperbacks but now it’s just the odd 1970 PAN or older Penguins. It appeared to be mainly modern popular authors in paperback which I might pick up to read from our library but not to buy but I suppose they know what sells.

I was pleased to hear from fellow PAN Fan Joe Mclaughlin who drew my attention to an album by Dave Graney, who I will confess was a new name to me. The cover is a sort of pastiche of PAN G551/X239 “For Your Eyes Onlywith artwork by J Oval (Ben Ostrick) The album cover is by what looks like T Mahoney in the signature.

While looking at Australian authors I was intrigued to come across Gabrielle Lord who wrote a series of titles that reminded me of Sue Grafton. Sue sadly only managed to write 25 books for letters of the alphabet detective stories. Gabrielle has written 12 teen titles for each month of the year none of which were published by PAN. I have only found two of her titles published by PAN out of her 35 books but I’ll keep looking. Lord was born in Sydney in 1946 and worked as a teacher before becoming a full time writer.

Kirby/Silverberg, A Couple of Jules Videos and Another Collins

I recently picked up this poster for the Robert Silverberg titles published by PAN with artwork by Josh Kirby. I will try and get a better image of it as it was too big for my scanner as it measures 27″ x 17″ I have resorted to a photo as it  it was rolled up and kept wanting to roll back so it’s under a rug hopefully being flattened at the moment. The photo is taken of it under a sheet of glass. I’ve scanned in the six editions of the three titles in the Silverberg Majipoor Chronicles series with the Kirby artwork. Pleased to find Robert Silverberg is still with us being born on the 15th January 1935 in New York.

Always pleased to add links to another couple of Jules Burt’s videos. This first one is Cleaning Vintage Great Pan Paperbacks – Part 7 and is a great way to see the wonderful artwork on the covers. The second is for a preview of the Paperback and Pulp Book Fair 2023 in London on the 30th July. I hoping to be there if plans to visit the family in Kent at the same time come to fruition. Here is a still from the video, I recognise Jules but who can that handsome hirsute gentleman be ……..?

Still sorting Jackie Collins editions and found yet another signed copy of ‘Lovers & Gamblers’ this time to Louise but no further clues as to who she might, did she work at PAN like the others?

Rona Jaffe, James E McConnell, Michael Leonard and Upfield Update

As it would have been Rona Jaffe’s birthday on the 12th June I’ve rescanned in all her PAN editions that I know of. This includes X81 and X80, the first printing of which was incorrectly numbered. Jaffe wrote 17 books of which PAN published 4. She was born in 1931 in New York City and died in London on the 30th December 2005. Jaffe wrote her first book ‘The Best of Everythingin 1958 while working as an associate editor at Fawcett Publications. It was adapted into a film starring Joan Crawford also called ‘The Best of Everything’ in 1959

I’m always pleased to get comment’s on blogs and especially the latest one regarding James E McConnell. Steve Chibnall’s book on McConnell is now available to pre-order from Telos Publishing. It’s thanks to ‘’ for letting me know and for the links from their article to my website.. Talking of McConnell does anyone know if he also painted the cover of the Heinemann edition of ‘Bony and the Black Virgin’ as it is so similar to his later PAN edition?

When I saw some original book cover artwork I couldn’t resist even thought it was for Hodder and not PAN. It was for the 1958 edition of ‘Polonaise’ by Doris Leslie signed ‘Leonard’ and on the back it said D Michael Leonard. I emailed Viv Lawrence who looks after Michael’s website and he kindly replied with the good news to say “Yes, this is a very early Michael Leonard commercial work. I recognise the signature which is how he signed his work at that time. D M Leonard is Douglas Michael Leonard always know as Michael. He would have just left St Martin’s School of Art aged 25. He is still with us but in a care home now being well looked after”

Thanks to fellow PAN Fan Stuart Radmore from Upfield’s adopted country for spotting a couple of errors on my Arthur Upfield page featured in a recent blog. He notice I had included a duplicate edition which has now been removed and also I had not included X716. On looking for it on the shelf I also found I had not included X717 so now both added, thanks Stuart.

Signed Jackie Collins, James M Cain and more royalty.

I’m still sorting the different editions of Jackie Collins (currently by typeface for her name) and notice at least two were signed. One is to Celeste who was Celeste Parsons and worked at PAN while the other is to Steve (?) who was a ‘rep supreme’ apparently. Click HERE to see them.

Looking at ‘The Five Great Novels of James M Cain’ published by PAN as a Picador I checked if PAN had published all five titles separately as I couldn’t remember seeing ‘Mildred Pierce’ on the shelf. It seems my memory was correct so to make up for its absence I’ve scanned in my three US Penguin copies of the title although not in the best of condition. I’ve also included the Guild Books edition of ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’ as Guild Books was another of Alan Botts companies. Cain wrote over 20 novels plus short stories and plays. James Mallahan Cain was born on the 1st July 1892 in Annapolis, Maryland and died on the 27th October 1977 at University Park, Maryland. Click HERE to see the covers.

At the time of the coronation of King Charles III last month I scanned in some titles with a vague royal connection and now realise there was another one I had missed so better late than never I’ve added ‘The Reality of Monarchy’ by Andrew Duncan from 1970. Dipping into it I don’t think it will be joining my ‘to read’ pile anytime soon!

Arthur William Upfield

There seems to have been a lot on this week with days out to BIFoR (nothing to do with books but very interesting) and nights away in the camper so there is only one post for author Arthur William Upfield. I’ve been scanning in his PAN covers from 1954 to 1984 making it a total of 67 and including backs was not only time consuming but a bit boring as well hence a few done at a time. I have put the individual covers under their PAN numbers and all of them on one page HERE which might take a while to load in! As usual, pleased let me know of any I might have missed.

Arthur William Upfield was born in Gosport on 1st September 1890 and was registered under the name of William Arthur Upfield but his names were later reversed to avoid the diminutive ‘Little Bill’ apparently. He moved to Australian in 1911 and fought with the Australian military during the First World War. following his war service he travelled extensively throughout Australia obtaining a knowledge of Australian Aboriginal culture that he would later use in his written works. He is best known for his books of detective fiction featuring Detective Inspector Napoleon “Bony” Bonaparte of the Queensland Police Force, a mixed-race Indigenous Australian. In addition to writing detective fiction Upfield was also a member of the Australian Geological Society and was involved in numerous scientific expeditions. After living at Bermagui, New South Wales, Upfield moved to Bowral where he died on the 12th February 1964. His last work,The Lake Frome Monster‘, published in 1966, was completed by J.L. Price and Dorothy Strange.

PAN didn’t publish all his 29 titles but ETT Imprints did in uniform editions from 2019. They can be found on the Arthur Upfield website.

While looking through literally hundreds of different editions I couldn’t help but notice the resemblance between the Heinemann hardback edition of 1959 and that by James McConnell for the 1962 PAN edition of ‘Bony and the Black Virgin’. I can’t find a name for the artist of the Heinemann edition.

It’s also interesting to see ETT Imprints used the same TV series photo in 2020 as did PAN for ‘The Barrakke Mystery’ while all the other 28 covers from ETT appear to use artwork.

‘OHMSS’, Jackie Collins, Barbara Lofthouse and a Jules Burt video.

Not quite PAN but a sort of link via James Bond as I’ve just received my signed and numbered copy of On His Majesty’s Secret Service’ which included 12 feet of bubble wrap around it! My copy is numbered 794 of 1,000 and here is Charlie Higson actually signing it, well you never know, it could be.

Now I know this isn’t much but I was really pleased to get a copy of ‘Hollywood Wives’ by Jackie Collins where is states over a million copies have been sold. I did have it on the page but it was from the web as all those for sale seemed to be stock images. I found it on the 50p table in the secondhand bookshop at Shugborough Hall, the elusive edition which has now been added to the page. I have several more Jackie Collins titles to add and I’ll feature them in a upcoming blog.

While at Shugborough I also picked up a couple of ‘thick ‘PANs with ‘Omamori’ at 878 pages while ‘Brazil’ weighs in at over a1,000. It was a coincidence that both covers are by Barbara Lofthouse of which I can find very little so far apart from;

I know she also designed stamps so if anyone knows of any more PAN covers she painted or details about her including a contact email I would be very grateful.
UPDATE Just found THIS LINK with a bit more information. Christine Isteed at Artist Partners told me Barbara has given up commercial work and doesn’t embrace the digital world! 

Jules Burt is continuing to work his way through his PAN collection and this time he’s looking at his Science Fiction and Horror titles from 1945 onwards in chronological order.. You can watch the video by clicking HERE.

‘Unease’ Titles, John Burke and Another Pastiche Cover

This week the John Burke contract is for ‘New Tales of Unease‘ which was listed as ‘Tales of Unease III’ on it. There is also a couple of items of correspondence regarding two of the stories. I think John Burke was not happy with one where there is a wad of letters between him and the writers agent who wants some sort of written statement which John says is not something usually requested hence he is ‘cheesed off’ I’ve also rescanned the earlier two related titles ‘Tales of Unease’ and More Tales of Unease’ , the latter with the really creepy cover!

John Burke was a PAN stalwart and wrote under many pen names including J. F. Burke, Jonathan Burke, Jonathan George, Robert Miall, Martin Sands, Owen Burke, Sara Morris, Russ Ames, Roger Rougiere, and Joanna Jones; and co-wrote with his wife Jean Burke under the pen name Harriet Esmond. This is a full page advertisement  for his books in a PAN leaflet.

I recently had an email from Colin Larkin, author of Cover Me’ who ask about ‘Crime Fiction: A Reader’s Guide’ which reminded me of all the other pastiche PAN covers, some for real titles and some with covers than might have been. There are several examples on the website. No idea if this is a recycled cover from a differnt title but I see it is available as a poster from HERE

Royal Connections, Shakespeare and ‘Moon Zero Two’

I meant to. post this last week but it got over looked so better late than never. It was the local elections last Thursday but the closest PAN tie-in I could find was Piper XP59 A Guide to the General Election’  from 1964. Harold Wilson of the Labour Party won that year. The other titles are regarding monarchs of the last century including Queen Victoria, King George V and Queen Elizabeth II.

I have mentioned the PAN Shakespeare titles before which used some of the artwork from a series that appeared in ‘The Sunday Times’ You could subscribe and get posters featuring the characters and description plus a painting by a well know artist. These are not easy to find at a price that I’m happy to pay so when a bundle turned up on eBay within my budget I couldn’t resist. There were 29 and I though this was all of them but it turns out there are 36 listed as Lady Macbeth, Prospero, Henry V, Falstaff, Mark Antony, Nurse, Macbeth, Shylock, Richard II, Richard III, Mistress Quickly, Viola, Hamlet, Desdemona, Ophelia, Othello, Banquo, King Lear, Henry IV, Touchstone, Rosalind, Cleopatra, Antony, Julius, Caesar, Isabella, Caliban, Iago, Cordelia, Leontes, Polonius, Romeo, Juliet, Sir Toby Belch, Malvolio, Titania, Henry VIII. Now to work out which seven I don’t have yet. They are double crown paper size (30″x20″) and I now need somewhere and some how to flatten them out.

Having obtained several PAN contracts and other correspondence mainly for titles by John Burke I thought I would start putting them on a page with a scan of the relevant cover. This week it’s for ‘Moon Zero Two’ which was written as a book of the film in 1969. This was a 1969 British science fiction film from Hammer, directed by Roy Ward Baker, and starring James Olson, Catherine Schell, Warren Mitchell, and Adrienne Corri. The film takes place on the Moon in the year 2021. The film script was written by amongst others, PAN stalwart, Gavin Lyall. John got paid £525 plus royalties for his version.

PAN V Corgi, Bonhams Catalogue and Original Artwork

I have a sheet of paper where I jot down ideas for the blogs and noticed I had three with a Corgi/Roger Hall connection so I’m lumping them together this week. I’ll say sorry to PAN purists but back to normal(!) next week.

Looking at the PAN Romance covers and then the Corgi Romance ones I was intrigued by the similarity in styles over the years. Corgi started with a full cover painting and then so did PAN. Later both PAN and Corgi went for a smaller painting in a frame and then PAN went for a photo followed by Corgi a little later. I’ve been puzzling over the one Corgi which has the monogram that looks like CD which I’m sure I’ve seen before but can’t recall a name. There are a couple of familiar names used by both publishers. I’ve added a couple more Corgis just because I had them on the shelf. Click HERE to see the comparisons.

Before Bonham’s held their auction of PAN book covers in 1991, which turned out to be very controversial, they auction original artwork from CORGI in 1990. This was from the collection of Mr. And Mrs. John Munday and includes many familiar names such as Roger Coleman, Roger Hall,, James McConnell, Harry Hants, Edward Mortelmans, and of course Sam Peffer. The cover features artwork by Josh Kirby. At the moment it is just sitting on the shelf but if anyone is interested then I can scan its contents and put them on the site?

The third CORGI related post is for the only original piece of CORGI artwork I have. It is by Roger Hall, who of probably better known for painted the 1955 PAN ‘Casino Royale cover plus several in PAN’s Romance series, has a lot of his artwork included in the CORGI catalogue. The artwork if for the Conrad Richter title ‘The Lady’ number SW731 from 1959.