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

Crosswords Part 3, Alan Cracknell and Glenn Steward.

PART 3 of the crossword book collection focusses on those from the late 1960s which now have SBNs. The design of these covers is the same as the later ones with PANs eclectic numbering system. A few are proving to be elusive so once again if you have a spare copy or can let me have a scan I would love to add it to the page.

I was pleased to receive a letter from Evelyn Cracknell, artist Alan’s wife, to let me know a book entitled ‘An Enchanted Eye : The Art of Alan Cracknell’ was now available. I used to sort of be Alan’s agent as he didn’t email and, as I have mentioned Alan Cracknell on my site, people emailed me so I would phone him to ask if he wanted to make contact. He was a lovely man and we had long conversations over the phone. The book is £22.99 plus £5 p&p and is available from Boscobel Books. If you are interested then email to contact Bruce Edwards, the author, for more details.

I do like to collect artwork by Glenn Steward and just wish I could find out more about him apart from he was an enthusiastic cyclist. My latest acquisition is the PAN cover artwork for ‘Cabbage Holiday’ by Anthony Thorne. PAN also published ‘Young Man on a Dolphin’ by him. I also acquired another non PAN cover by Glenn Steward and what is annoying is that when I first saw it a while ago I did a reverse image search and got the title. Now that no longer finds so I posted on several appropriate Facebook page and, sorry to say, just got silly answers. Here it is so if anyone can help please get in touch.

Sorry if anyone got a message this morning when they looked at this blog. I’ve been meaning to update the version of WordPress for a long time and it went smoothly. I then decided up update the PHP data base from 7.4 to 8.1 which promptly crashed the blog. I had this happen before but I though as it was a later version of WordPress it would be worth a try. No problem I thought, I’ll just switch back to 7.4 like last time but it was no longer on the list as an option. Luckily a message to my hosting site managed it for me so we are back up and running but if anyone knows enough to sort the problem please get in touch.

Crosswords Part 2, A Couple of Misses and June ’69 New Titles List

As promised last week here is the link to PART 2 of the PAN crossword books series. This time it’s for the junior titles which also includes Piccolo titles of which the first 8 are reprints of the PAN editions but the later 4 are original. It was while scanning the Piccolo covers I noticed that the layout of number 9 is odd in that it reverts to that of the first printing of number 1. I’ve also included the 3 ‘bumper’ editions with each having selections from the previous PAN/Piccolo titles. As you’ll see from the lists on the page I am a few titles short in this series including the elusive X705 so as usual if you can help please email me.

Last week I heard from Stuart Webb who let me know he had recently managed to acquire an original cover by J. Oval (Ben Ostrick) on eBay The seller had two but one had sold on the 29th October while Stuart purchased his on the 2nd November. They were both for Heyer titles but I was left wondering how I missed them but on looking at the dates I realise we had the family from Kent visiting that week as it was half term and I am ‘banned’ from the computer for the duration (I do sneak looks on my phone!) Congratulations to Stuart and the A N Other as they are very nice buys.

Here is the last of my current batch of New Titles Lists for June 1969. Once again it is in ‘glorious’ colour (who thought this was a good idea?) especially as it shows a Bond white cover in maroon.

Crosswords Part 1, New Titles List February ’70, Josephine Tey and How Long!!!!

As promised I am starting to rescan the front and back covers of all my crossword books I currently have, from the 1950s up to the 80s. I have split them into four parts to use over this and the next three weeks. I will say the earlier ones had a lot more going for them but some of the colour combinations of the later ones are not bad. Today it is PART 1 with the crossword books having PAN’s eclectic numbers. If you see any gaps and find you have a spare copy or can scan the missing covers please let me know so we can make the pages as complete as possible.

This time it’s the new titles list for the 6th February 1970. There seems to be, sadly, fewer and fewer painted covers and more photos as time goes by but it does have Wilbur Smith titles on the front. I’m  pleased to say I do have some of Hans Helweg’s roughs for these covers but I would really to know where the  finished originals ended up. It does have the usual six pages plus a double sided stock list and this time a flyer for ‘Incident of Hill 192’

I don’t know how Jules Burt finds the time to produce his excellent videos bur very pleased he does. Click on the image to see a recent one featuring Josephine Tey with covers from PAN and other publishers.

While looking for PAN crossword books I came across the jumbo series by Mike Grimshaw and was pleased to find a copy of Book 4 on Amazon with fast delivery included in my Prime account, goodness knows how long it might have been otherwise!

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.