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

George Underwood, C S Lewis, ‘Thunderball’ and eBay

Artist George Underwood was born in 1947 and joined Beckenham Art School in 1963. At art school George became more and more interested in music. As a result he pursued a career in the music world. Along with life long friend David Bowie he made one record (The King Bees ) and also a solo record under the name Calvin James. After deciding that the music business was not for him, George returned to art studies and then worked in design studios as an illustrator. Initially he specialised in fantasy, horror and science fiction book covers. Several of these covers were for PAN. He also painted a cover for Piccolo called ‘The Greatest Magicians on Earth’ and I emailed him about this to which he replied ”Dear Tim, Thanks for your message. It was indeed me who illustrated the cover you mentioned amongst quite a few others. Now, finding that original could be quite difficult, if I still have it. I will try and find it and let you know. Kind regards, George’  As I’ve not heard anything I’m presuming he wasn’t successful but fingers crossed. Click HERE to see a selection.

I recently spotted a C S Lewis cover for one of the  ‘The Space Trilogy titles I hadn’t got and then decided to take all the covers for this series and rescan them. I don’t think I realised how many editions and variants there were from PAN. A few things I did notice was there doesn’t appear to be reprint of ‘That Hideous Strength’ from 1971 while ‘Out of the Silent Planet’ from 1971 is overprinted with the new PAN logo. Also on the back of the 1963 edition of ‘That Hideous Strength’ they still show the covers with the logo from the 1962 editions. The 1953 edition of ‘Voyage to Venus’ has ‘Perelandra’ in brackets under the title while the 1983 edition  is the only one where it is the other way around.
Clive Staples Lewis (29/11/1899 to 22/11/1963) was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He went to school in Malvern and then to Oxford University before enlisting in the army in WWI. After he was discharged he was appointed English Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, where he tutored English Language and Literature. He published around 40 books including the ‘The Space Trilogy’ (1938 to 1945) and the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ (1950 to1956) Lewis was a close friend of J R R Tolkien, author of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ as both men served on the English faculty at Oxford at the same time.

A “Thank you” to James Bond aficionado Thomas Nixdorf who posted a couple of PAN counter advertising displays for ‘Thunderball’ on a Facebook group page. He very happy happy for me to show them here.

Having received an email from eBay to thank me for being a member for 22 years I now realise where all my money has gone. When I look at bank statements it feels as though I have personally be responsible for keeping them going for all that time!

Sept ’69 New Titles, JB’s Video Part 3 And Not Really PAN But …

Another new titles list for September 2nd 1969 with a large double sided stockiest and double sided ‘Battle of Britain’ page. It mentions October’s major promotion which features George Lazenby and OHMMSS’ with photos of all the available display material, I’d love to know where any of that is but more than likely it ended up in a bin. Click on the scan below to see it.

Jules Burt has now finished his look at the just numbers PANs in part 3 so click on the image to see the fantastic artwork.

Not quite PAN but after a trip to Birkenhead Tram Museum recently on my friend Kevin’s vintage double decker bus I spotted this on one of the trade stands. I was surprised as it isn’t really anything to do with buses but was amongst the thousands of bus photo, timetables and scale models. It’s an child’s adding machine and works really well. It wasn’t expensive and has PETER PAN on it so how could I resist and it made up for the fact that both the trams and the Mersey ferries were not running.

Roger Harris, Snipers, Reversed Logos and JB’s Video 2

I’m trying to find out anything about Roger Harris who was the artist responsible for five covers from PAN. There may be more but these HERE are the few I have found so far. It appears he was born in 1942 in ? and since 1994 he has been a member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers &  exhibits regularly at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, The Mall Galleries and The Royal West of England Academy in Bristol. His work is included in permanent collections at the Cleveland Gallery, Kent County Council and the Ashmolean Museum Oxford. In 1993 he won 2nd prize at the Cleveland International Drawing Biennale and in 1997 he was awarded the Polock-Krasner Art Foundation Award, New York. If anyone has contact details please comment or email.

I don’t usually post books by theme but when I saw these three I thought there was sure to be more showing cross hairs but drew a blank. Seems the memory is not what is was but if anyone does know of others please email or comment.

A while ago Jeremy Birch pointed out what I hadn’t noticed on that one of the PAN logos on a spine was reversed on  G242 “A Secret Understanding”. Since then I have scanned in the dust jackets and noticed two of them have the logo reversed on the front.

Here is the link to another excellent video from Jules Burt. It is part 2 as he works his way through his just numbers collection. It is so good to see all those covers which are hidden when they are on shelves. Click on the image below to view it.                                                           

Simon Marsh-Devine, New Titles June 1969, A Bibliography And C?

I recently made contact again with Simon Marsh-Devine which gave me the opportunity to ask him about his Catalogue of Artwork he produced after the infamous Bonham’s PAN Artwork Auction of 1991. He replied to say “Well I don’t know if I can tell you anything of any great interest. Before the catalogue I met with all three of the artists in the catalogue using some of their memories in my work in my degree titled “Post War British Paperback Cover Art” which secured me honours. I have always bought and sold art and antiques on a hobby basis and this catalogue was a tiny part of what I did as my main work was and still is as an arborist”

Here is the stock list for new titles for June 1969. It also included a large double sided stock list and a double side insert for three titles. I’ve abandoned attempts at an electronic book and just scanned in the pages which is simpler and works most of the time unlike an on screen book where the software can become redundant. I still have a few I made using Flash but where is that now? It features some great counter and window displays so click on the scan above to see it.

When I first started collecting PAN Books a little more seriously that just picking them up whenever I saw one I got hold of a second edition copy of Richard William’s checklist which has become very dogeared and full on my markings. Since then I have got another second printing which Richard signed to go with a first but now I am pleased to say I have got an earlier listing from 1987 covering just the numbered titles. It is a second printing and says it is part 2′ but I’ve no idea what was in part 1? It confirms there were no titles numbered 33, 34, 35, 37, 38, 69, 88, 187 and 442 which agrees with my list but it also states there were 18 with dust jackets and I have 19 with 2 variants. There are a lot more details which I’ll check out and probably use in future blogs.

QUICK QUERY: While looking for S/F titles I noticed a couple of PANs by Arthur Clarke which set me wondering who decided he would become Arthur C(harles) Clarke? A couple of examples are ‘Earthlight’ and ‘Childhood’s End’

David Scutt, New Titles May 1969, Pop Up Bookshop Again, JB Video and the BBC Slips Up.

After our visit to Gordon Young fell through we still carried on with our plan to call in to see artist David it’s always nice to have a chat. David said he had found the tenth Rex Stout cover to go with the other nine Rex Stout covers I bought off him a while ago. Although they are not PAN they are beautiful with all of them featuring a different type of orchid. Unfortunately when he got it out it was his fantastic cover for ‘The Death Bringers’ by Dell Shannon published by Gollanzc, he’s gone back to have a better look for the missing one. David has painted covers for such writers as Terry Pratchett, Bernard Cornwell, Jack Higgins, Robert Ludlum, Phillip Pullman, Danielle Steele, Gavin Lyall, Tom Clancy, Colin Forbes, Arthur C Clarke, Ben Elton, Elton John, Raymond Benson, John Gardner, Eric Lustbader, Leslie Thomas, James Patterson, Craig Thomas and Ian Fleming plus many more. You must have seen at least one of his covers without knowing it! David also painted album covers and film posters. PAN published two Rex Stout titles namely ‘Too Many Cooks’ and Some Buried Caesar

The PAN New Books list changed format between July 1967 and May 1969 and had reduced pages from 16 to 6 and now included a double sided stock list page of available titles. Not too sure I like the ‘new look’ of the one colour covers pictures used as in this 9th May 1969 New Titles. Click on the image below to see it.

Sorry to say if you want to go to the pop up bookshop in Wolverhampton then you are too late as it shut yesterday but is hoping to be back in February next year. My wife and I managed to get there in time but we both came away without purchasing anything. There was a definite lack of vintage paperbacks but plenty of hardbacks and ephemera. My wife said “There were a lot of familiar titles” and the majority of the paperbacks were the sort you could find in a charity shop but on the plus side the prices were reasonable.

My friend Jules Burt has started to refilm all his just numbered PANs in three parts. Click on the picture to see part one. I love watching them as they remind me of how beautiful so many of the covers are.

I had an email from Kathy, Sam Peffer’s great niece recently to say she was surprised to see a Bond cover from Sam she didn’t know about. Having watched The One Show on BBC I Player I see it was just sloppy research again. They had used a retitled copy of PAN Dark Wanton as TMWTGG. They did use a genuine PAN LALD but interestingly with a 50c sticker. I won’t name names but someone in the States wrote an article about PAN Bond covers and three of the ones they used weren’t the genuine article!

A Doubly Sad Day.

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.

Gordon Young 2, Walter Winward and ‘Illustrating Computers’

We had planned to go down to Lymington to meet up with Gordon Young last week but unfortunately both he and his wife, Chrissie, have not been too well. Gordon is now 98 and has just finished the second part of his memoires as Export Manager for PAN in the 1950’s. I am pleased to be able to publish it on line HERE and if you have not read part one when he was first mate on the ‘Laloun’ then click HERE Gordon was awarded the French ‘Légion d’honneur’ for his part in the D Day Landings. Get well soon Gordon and Chrissie 

(Richard) Walter Winward wrote three  books for PAN plus four short stories that appeared in the PAN Horror series namely  ‘Return to Devil’s Tongues’ (6), ‘The Benefactor’ (8), ‘Stick With Me, Kid, and You’ll Wear Diamonds’ (9) and ‘Self-Employed’ (10) Starting in June 1969 PAN began a campaign to push his novel ‘The Conscripts’ with several mentions in the June and July editions of the PAN Books monthly list. I was pleased to pick up a counter display for this as they are hard to come by. It’s interesting to note the books in the displays have covers for 1969 edition but most of the artwork on the advertising material is related to the 1970 printing. The other two PAN titles were ‘The Success’ and A Cat With Cream’ I didn’t think I had a PAN copy of the latter title and so looked to buy one but couldn’t find one for sale anywhere. Fortunately I had a better look and found it had been put in the wrong place. I can’t find out much about Winward apart from he was born on the 4th December1938 in York and what it says on Fantatsic Fiction which also states he wrote 15 novels. He may have possibly died on the 13th January 2017 if I found the correct Walter.

Every now and again you come across a book which makes you think “Who thought that would be a good idea? “and this time it’s ‘Illustrating Computers’ by Colin Day and Donald Alcock. Just click on the cover to see a sample page as to whether or not you agree.

‘What A Way To Go’, PAN List June ’67 and Gavin Lyall 70s Covers.

I’m sure, like most book collectors, you get asked “Have you read them all?” to which I usually reply “Don’t be daft, I have 133 Barbara Cartlands!” but I did read a recent purchase namely  ‘What A Way To Go’ by Peter Bowler and Jonathan Green. This describes the deaths of some famous and some obscure people but all in weird ways and often avoidable. For example I didn’t know Arnold Bennet was told not to drink the water in Paris as it contained typhoid bacillus. He pooh-poohed this, drank the water and shortly after died of typhoid. The cover is by Paul Sample who did several covers for PAN including nearly all the PAN Tom Sharpe titles.

This weeks list is from June 1967 and has some of the later titles still listed using PAN’s eclectic numbering system. Amongst them, on the back inside page is X705‘Junior Crosswords Book 3‘ that elusive title I’m still after. Click on the list cover to see the contents.

While looking at the above list I was reminded of a Gavin Lyall series from the 1970s I haven’t posted yet. They feature covers which include ones by Chris Foss and Harry Hants and for some reason or other have two versions of the same two titles published very close together. They also feature Lyall’s name more prominently that the books title.

Ernest Raymond, PAN List July ’67, Peter Cheyney and ‘Portmeirion’

It’s always nice to have an unexpected find in a book and in this case it was a letter in a copy of We, the Accused’ by Ernest Raymond. It was from his wife Diana Raymond, author of Between the Stirrup and the Ground’ She was writing to producer Peter Cotes and mentions PAN stalwart John Creasey and the programme Cotes produced for BBC2 in the ‘One Pair of Eyes’ series. It was Episode 39 entitled ‘Down With All Parties‘ featuring Creasey standing for election and broadcast on the 2nd May 1970. Raymond wrote 46 novels plus plays etc. but PAN only published one while his wide Diana wrote 24 novels and again PAN only published one. Ernest Raymond was born on the 31st December 1888 in Montreux, Vaud, Switzerland and died the 14th May 1974 in Hampstead, London. Diana Ida Joan Thornton Raymond née Young  was born on the 25th April 1916 in Milford on Sea, Hampshire and died on the 16th February 2009 in London. I’ve included the below as I’ve never come across something like it before.

I’ve been playing around with some of the software where you can make ‘books’ online for the stock lists I picked up at the Paperback and Pulp Fair in London recently. I have now decided the easiest, simplest and most reliable way is just to scan them in and make a webpage for them. I’ve randomly picked one off the pile which just happens to be for July 1967 and I’ll try and do the same for the next few weeks until I run out. Click on the image below to se it.

For those that do want to see my effort using ‘Visme’ click HERE but as it makes a 20mb file and as I can only get 100mb without paying I’ll stick to just putting them on a page at 3mb. As I have to scan them in, however I do it, putting them on a page is easier and quicker plus I can’t work out why the ‘book’ annoyingly jumps at the start.

When it comes to the books themselves I am happy to settle for a reasonable copy at a reasonable price if it is a title I haven’t got. My intention is to replace some with a better copy if one comes along but one glaring title has annoyed me for a long time and that is ‘You Can’t Hit A Woman’ by Peter Cheyney from 1961. All of its spine was Sellotaped and stood out as, literally,  glaringly obvious. Prices being asked were often around £40 with postage whereas the earlier 1953 edition was £5. So when I saw a copy for a couple of pounds and similar for postage in very good condition I bought it. What was surprising was that it was from Germany and came as fast as if it was from here in the UK. Card on left found in the 1953 edition. Signature and photo are from my Collins 1948 edition of ‘Try Anything Twice’

A while ago I mentioned we were going on a trip to Portmeirion where ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed. This starred Patrick McGoohan as John Drake and ran for 17 episodes between September 1966 and January 1968 on ITV. The exterior shots were filmed there but the interiors were filmed at Borehamwood. Last Saturday was the day and sorry to say we were not that impressed. On the plus side, although  the car and coach parks were full, it didn’t seem that crowded but on the down side everywhere seem to have private or residents only notices plus parts reserved for a wedding that was being held there which included the town hall. I did get a badge and a walk around the headland made up for some of the disappointment and luckily it was very warm but not sure where you could go if it was pouring with rain. PAN published a few series tie-ins which can be seen by clicking HERE

Later Dust Jackets, A Stock List, Goodbye ‘The Duck’ and JB on eBay

After rescanning the earlier dust jackets I’ve now done the same with a few of the later ones. They are four that feature the PAN man logo in a yellow box on part of the covers There is a difference between ‘David Copperfield’ and the later three in that it is like the earlier ones in not having a title which actually used the same cover as the jacket while the others do. Click HERE to see them. There are a few more with dust jackets and I’ll add them as I update pages.

Click on the image above to see a list of titles from PAN for July 1959 that I got from Steve Chibnall at the Paperback and Pulp Fair. The snippet below from the list reinforces what was mentioned in last weeks blog – films sell books!

A few years back we made a detour to visit the village of Pett Botton to do what thousands must have done before and that is stand under the blue plaque. This says that Ian Fleming stayed there to write ‘You Only Live Twice’ While just checking details, as this title also features in the comment above about later dust jackets, I was sad to see it had closed down. We may be as guilty as others in that we didn’t actually stop for a meal, maybe if more people had  it could have survived?

UPDATE Since I posted the above on a Facebook page there seems to be a consensus that Canterbury City Council may have been a little over generous with the truth. Fleming did live in the area and probably visited the pub but was residing at ‘Goldeneye’ in Jamaica in 1964 where he died. It seems he may have written notes at ‘The Duck’ but not the book.

I have been following a post on eBay and was tempted to bid but it soon went outside my price range. It would have been nice to have added it to the collection but for that amount of money I decided to leave it to someone who was probably a Bond fan and not a PAN fan but then again they could have been both. Click HERE to see the inscription.

STOP PRESS If you are looking to buy some PAN (and other publishers) paperbacks Jules Burt currently has some on offer on a first come first served basis from just £1 but don’t try for the Picador bookmarks, I’ve bagged those! Click on the image below to view it.