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

Plastic covers, Hans Helweg, Alan Cracknell, Golden PAN Awards and RIP Sonny.

It’s about a year ago since I last updated the page of PAN titles with plastic covers and have now done the same again. So far I have fifteen but five of these are different versions of the same book namely ‘The 35mm Photographer’s Handbook’ I seem to remember that at one time 35mm was definitely going to become redundant but like vinyl records it’s coming back so might these titles?


Still adding Hans Helweg Childrens Covers or new scans when I’ve actually got the book rather than off the web. There is another ‘OUP’ structured reading title, ‘Lassie’,  an American printing of ‘Olga Takes Charge’, ‘Treat Shop’ and ‘Cowboys’ (the latter two include work by other artists) and another Puffin title ‘To Sunset and Beyond’


Thanks to Andrew Crease for recently leaving a comment which made me realise when I had put together a page for Alan Cracknell I had not included the two ‘Radio Times’ covers of his that I had (I’m sure there must be more) This has now been rectified and they can be found if you scroll down. Just as an aside when I was at teacher’s training college one of the tutors was Miss Joy Sinden who was the sister of Donald as on one of the covers. Apparently he visited her quite often but I never saw him.


Alysoun at PAN recently emailed to tell me about another Golden PAN being awarded for a million copy seller. I didn’t know about this one which made me go and do a search. I managed to find yet another I’d missed and I’ll tell you what they both are in the next blog but can you work out before then who is holding this one?


I’ve just found out that we lost a PAN stalwart on 30th December 2019. namely Sonny Mehta. Sonny launched Picador books in 1972 and later became Editor in Chief at Knopf. This photo below is one I took of him at the PAN 70th party where he was joined by Marilyn Warnick the Books Editor for “The Mail on Sunday” He is survived by his wife, the novelist and film-maker Gita Mehta, whom he married in 1965, and their son.

‘Morse’, Russell Braddon, Morton Thompson Junior and Jules Burt.

Occasionally I spot books at a price I can’t resist and hence I have now added a couple of later ‘Morse’ titles at the bottom of the page although one shouldn’t be there as it doesn’t pass the ‘Little Man’ logo test while the other does on the spine.


Back in October I spotted a photo for sale on Amazon from a seller in Iceland. It was of Russell Braddon holding his ‘Golden PAN Award’ for selling a million copies of ‘The Naked Island’ I expected it to take a while but was surprised to get a call from a Mr. Williams in Leicester to say he had my photo included in with one he’d ordered. He kindly posted it on last week and it cost him £7.40 to send it tracked. I hope he can get is money back from the seller who I’ve contacted to tell them about their mistake. I’ve also put on the page a copy of the programme for the ‘Naked Island’ which was done as a stage play. I find it amusing as it lists what must be sponsors such as ‘Bear’ brand stockings and ‘Abdulla’ cigarettes although it points out smoking is not allowed! It’s also good to see a familiar name in the cast, Sam Peffers go to Japanese soldier Burt Kwouk. I’ve also included a photo of the original Tayler artwork but as it was behind glass there are a lot of reflections unfortunately.


After mentioning the original Hans Helweg artwork I got for a couple of Morton Thompson covers recently (I’m still trying to find the 1969 edition of ‘Not As A Stranger’) I was surprised to see his son had more hits which is probably due to him killing his mother. Apparently on the evening of February 5, 1962, Morton “Bud” Harold Thompson Jr., 27, fatally stabbed his mother, Helen Sincere Scheuer, 53, with an ice pick. Scheuer was trying to solve a crossword puzzle at her kitchen table when Bud suddenly attacked her from behind. After receiving 11 stab wounds, she stumbled out of her apartment and called out to her landlord, Forbes Exter who immediately called the police but she died shortly. after.  Scheuer was a former newspaper writer and the ex-wife of former screenwriter turned best-selling author Morton Thompson. Scheuer and Thompson Sr. met while working together at the Hollywood Citizen-News in the early 1930s. The couple married and had two children, Milllicent and Bud, before divorcing in 1942. Afterwards, Thompson Sr. moved east, married his New York literary agent, and wrote the best-selling novel “Not As a Stranger” Thompson Sr. didn’t live long enough to see his novel adapted for the big screen. He died of a heart attack on July 7, 1953. Eleven days later, his second wife committed suicide. In court, Bud Thompson pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. However, after psychiatrists ruled that he was sane, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. Morton Howard Thompson Jr. died in a VA hospital in Prescott, Arizona, on March 29, 1989 at the age of 54.


Finally I’ve mentioned Jules Burt and his excellent YouTube videos before and can recommend the latest one featuring James Bond movie tie-in books. This had nothing to do with the fact that Jules gives my website a plug, thanks Jules.

Disarmament, a poster and a couple of dustjackets

Thinking of all our fellow book collectors out in Australia suffering the fires. I know we have many in the affected areas especially New South Wales and Victoria, stay safe.


Welcome to a new decade. In the late 1970’s and early 80’s there were many campaigns for disarmament and the ‘World Disarmament Campaign’ used an extract from ‘North-South’ in a leaflet they printed in 1981. HERE is a link to it and other related items on the same theme including more titles in the ‘PAN World Affairs’ series. I’ve not heard about the campaign for a while but apparently it is still going HERE but doesn’t seem to have had anything added to the website since 2006.


I spotted this ‘eye catching NOT‘ poster for ‘The Godfather’ on eBay in Australia but on looking at the price I might give it a miss.

NB Just noticed it’s now dropped by $50 but still not tempted.


I mentioned I was getting PAN 74 “Flames Coming Out of the Top’ with the second elusive book jacket as a Christmas present to myself. Well it was there amongst my presents (no sign of X705 Santa!) and I’ve re-scanned all the three variant covers plus the three for PAN 90 “Action For Slander’ On checking where they were printed I see all of the copies of PAN 74 state the text set up is by Richard Clay and Company Ltd but printed by Firmin Didot in France while the first two edition of PAN 90 are also printed by Firmin Didot while the third is printed by Richard Clay.

Just looking up Firmin Didot I see they are still going and they are under the name Societe Nouvelle Firmin Didot. Around 1800 the  family owned the most important print shop and font foundry in France. Pierre Didot, the printer, published a document with the typefaces of his brother, Firmin Didot, the typeface designer.


Talking of dust jackets makes me wonder if I’ve become allergic to dusty paperbacks as ever since I’ve been moving stacks around after Christmas I’ve had an awful cold but then again so has Jackie and she keeps well away from them!

‘Happy New Year’, Paddington Bear plus a greeting.

Wishing all PANFans a Happy 2020 and here’s to many more blogs about PAN Books, their artists and anything else that comes to light.


After watching ‘Paddington 2’ which is still one of my favourite recent films there was a documentary on the author of ‘Paddington’, Michael Bond. They visited his daughter, Karen, and on the wall was a portrait of Michael holding a book and I was surprised to see it not not what I would have expected but rather ‘Olga da Polga’ with a cover by Hans Helweg. PAN also published several of the ‘Paddington’ titles. Also on over the holiday was another of my favourite films ‘Small Soldiers’ written by fellow PANFan Gavin Scott.


It was really nice to get a call out of the blue last Tuesday from artist David Scutt who wished me a ‘Happy Christmas’ I’ve mentioned David before as he painted four PAN covers but also many more for other publishers including the Phillip Pullman covers for ‘His Dark Materials’ series as serialised on BBC TV recently.

Merry Christmas and Lydia Monks.

Seasons greetings PANFans and I hope you get all those elusive titles in your stockings this year. I’ve asked Santa for ‘X705’ AGAIN this year after being let down on so many previous ones. I made a few greetings cards from the artwork above of which I have the original by Gavin Rowe from 1972. If you click on it you can see which book it was for.


As I mentioned last week I would like to say a very big “Thank You” to Lydia Monks who, when I contacted to congratulate her on her ‘Golden PAN Award’ and to ask to buy a signed copy, by return of post sent me a lovely complimentary copy very much personalised for our Grandson William Jack. Unfortunately I am being forced to give it him for Christmas-  Bah Humbug!

Lydia not only dedicated it to William but added all the figures from the story. Mind you I’m keeping the signed card that came with it.

HERE is a page showing Julia and Axel with their awards plus Lydia with hers and several of their book jackets with stickers for milestones over the years.


As for presents I do know I’m getting ‘Flames Coming Out of the Top with the second elusive book jacket but this is only because I bought it myself! Hopefully it will appear in the blog after Christmas when I’ll re-scan all the three variant covers plus the three for “Action For Slander”

Happy 20th Birthday PANFans!

It was on the 16th December 1999 that I first registered the domain name www.tikit.net which became the home of this website. Since then there have been many others including www.panfans.club as someone once suggested and I liked it but it just redirects back to the original. 

I used the ‘Wayback Machine’ to get the earliest screenshot it had captured and it was from 25th November 2002. I’m really surprised that it has not changed that much apart from the inclusion of the now weekly blog of which this is number 419. This actually works out at more than one a week since I it started it on the 1st march 2012. I also noticed while capturing the screens it still said ‘First Twenty Five’ at the top so now changed to ‘First Forty Five’ which is more accurate.


Here are details of Christmas book signings at ‘The PAN Bookshop’ but unfortunately it look like we are too late for both of them, not just by a few days but by a few years! Just looking at the address I noticed it’s Reading which seems to be a different place to the one I thought it was in Fulham (as in photo above) which closed on the 19th January 2008. Did the Reading one close at the same time?

Doing a quick’ Google’ I found a couple of pictures related to the ‘Butts Centre’ in Reading but no sign of a book shop. One is an outside view and the other of DJ David Jacobs with ‘Miss Ty-Phoo Tea’ at the opening of the complex in 1971 Thanks to ‘Berkshire Live’ for the photos.


My son and his wife plus two month old grandson William are visiting this week and I was really ‘chuffed with what I managed to get him for Christmas. All will be revealed next week when they return home for festivities in Kent as I don’t want William reading this blog and spoiling the surprise! My wife says “Ha Ha”

Kevin Tweddell, PAN Cards and another PEFF negative.

After trying to contact artist Kevin Tweddell on and off for a while I gave it another go recently and this time I got a very nice but rather sad reply from Kevin’s daughter Thea but unfortunately it was to say Kevin sadly passed away earlier in the year.

Thea wrote “Kevin’s father was very artistic and although a northern work man he encouraged his son in his ability to draw from a young age. At the age of 16 he left home and went to art college where he met many wonderful people and a lot of the famous names to come in life. He then moved to London where he worked for Hallmark. Many jobs succeeded this but he fell into illustration and loved his time spent in Convent Garden working with and socialising with so many artistic people. He spent many years bringing up his daughter living in Twickenham and continued to illustrate book covers and alike. Then in 2007 we ventured to Devon to buy a pub restaurant which had always been a dream of ours. ( The Tower Inn ) We have spent the last 12 years working hard but loving being part of the community and our little business.He was diagnosed with terminal cancer in November last year and told he had only weeks.But in his true form, he embraced life, said all his goodbyes and had some brilliant parties to see him off.He is terribly missed but he rests now just across the road in the village graveyard, to keep an eye on us all.

So if you find yourself down by St James Church, Slapton why not pop in and say “Hello” I’ve rounded up a few of Kevin’s covers which can be seen HERE. I’m sure there are more to be added.


PAN produced many different study aids using the ‘Brodie’s Notes’ imprint (Later changed to PAN Study Aids) but they also produce revision cards ring bound in a sort of folder. HERE are a few I found 


After over bingeing on Sam Peffer’s negatives I took a break but I’ve now gone back to looking for more cover photos. I’ve added one to G380 ‘The Lost Days of My Life’ plus Kathy sent me the photo below she had found showing a better shot for 436 ‘Sinners and Shrouds’, this one doesn’t have Kitty modelling as the maid. It looks like the finished cover was an amalgam of several different shots.

A Competition, more Horizons and a video.

I found the above in the ‘Newspaper Archives’ but as my subscription has run out I can’t check which paper or when, maybe when my ‘attack of the meanies’ has worn off I may renew. I wonder who might have won it or got a consolation prize, anyone out there?


I’m still adding more titles to the PAN Horizons series page which must have round about 70 titles in a list I’ve compiled from all the various lists inside the books. PAN has used many different well know cover artists and some I’ve contacted previously, some are no longer with us and some still to track down. I will try and get a copy of all the titles and put a scan on the one page but some of the prices asked are just ridiculous going into three figures!

UPDATE I have managed to track down at least one copy of the 69 ‘Horizons’ titles (number now confirmed thanks to Alysoun at PAN for a list) although there will be more on the page as some had a couple of  editions with different covers. I have bought 68 of them (still a few to arrive, fingers crossed they don’t get ‘lost in the post’) at a much more reasonable price, usually less than £2 so who pays the £121 pound asked for one I found – nobody by the looks of it!

The only one I couldn’t see for sale was “Those Summer Girls I Never Met” but luckily I found a very nice librarian in Waverley, New South Wales who had a copy and scanned in the front and back for me, thanks Sally.


This is a bit ‘old news’ now but something I mean to to link to in back 2017 namely a You Tube video from book cover designer Holly Dunn. She is talking about the titles PAN produced as part of their 70th Anniversary celebration and she explains that they are a lot clever than they appear at first glance. Click HERE to see it.

Stuart Bodek, Macmillan Newsletter 8 and ‘As Seen On TV’

I recently spotted some artwork for sale by Stuart Bodek which was listed as for an unknown cover. I recognised it as the Sphere edition of “Rich” by Graham Masterton and as it was not too expensive I bought it. You can clearly see the original is signed but the book cover has a blurb added right across it. I’ve added it to Stuart’s page HERE along with some more Sphere titles from the same series, possibly with covers by Stuart, but ‘Rich’ is the only one that wraps around. I’ve also added three of Stuart’s from  PAN Horizons, the only ones that I’ve found so far.


I was pleased to get a copy of the Macmillan newsletter from PAN Archivist Alysoun that contained an article by John Handford about founder of PAN Books, Alan Bott. You can read all the newsletter by clicking  HERE but if you just want to read about Alan jump to page 10. Pleased to find there was a plug for the website at the end, thanks John.


I’ve also added to the ‘PAN As Seen on Television’ page but yet again it was ‘Bargain Hunt’ on 12th Novemeber 2019. Natasha Raskin Sharp was doing the summing up in front of a book carousel and I managed to spot a PAN title. If you can’t see it click on the picture below to go to find the answer.

A Couple of Press Books, ‘Sun Signs’ and the Pop Up Bookshop.

As a sideline to PAN Books I also like to see if I can get hold of the Press Campaign Books that went with film releases and especially if they mention PAN as tie-ins.
Here are a couple which show how much importance was placed on the book from very little to nearly a whole page. The books in question are ‘Von Ryan’s Express‘ and ‘MayerlingI’ve also included a coup of other Westheimer titles from PAN.


Having found Linda Goodman’s book ‘Sun Signs’ as below I have also discovered she did twelve others for each sign of the zodiac. I have six so far and I am just wondering if it is worth trying to get all of them, have I better things to do with my life and my money? Click HERE to see the ones so far. I’m tempted to get all twelve to see if I can cut and paste the images off the front to make a complete circle! The covers are by Maggie Kneen and I contacted her and she kindly replied “Dear Tim, I’m not sure what happened to the artwork; I think it must have been in a portfolio that went missing years ago. I did enjoy that job, which was done in the 1980s in my London bedsit days. Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs was my teenage ‘bible’, so I felt immensely lucky and proud to have been given the job. Esoteric projects often seemed to come my way, as I illustrated Psycards, and the Old English Tarot as well. I’ll have another think about it and let you know if I’m wrong and the artwork is still in a drawer somewhere. Best wishes, Maggie Kneen”


…. and a quick reminder if you are in Wolverhampton the pop up bookshop is there again in the Wulfrun Centre until 28th November. Good selection of book, hardback and paperback, fiction and non fiction plus magazines and comics. I was pleased I got a couple of PANs in very good condition to replace ones that could be described as ‘reading copies’