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

‘An Otter’s Tale’, ‘Wuthering Heights’ and more videos from Jules Burt.

Last year when I went to visit Sam ‘PEFF’ Peffer’s Great Niece Kathy I took a photo of the original artwork she had for ‘The Otter’s Tale’ by Gavin Maxwell which featured a prominent otter. This bore a remarkable similarity to the otter on the Maxwell covers by William Francis Phillips. It turns out my supposition about the cover being a composite was right and was confirmed by what Sam had written on the back of the artwork kindly photographed for me by Kathy.

Looking at my duplicate copies of titles I’m sorted to take to a National Trust secondhand bookshop when they reopen shortly I nearly missed a later copy of ‘Wuthering Heights’ with a cover by John Raynes (pictured left) I knew I had two from 1967, one with a TV programme tie-in sticker but then spotted the 1970 edition with a different title section and no letter on the spine, just a blank where there was one on the earlier edition. I’ve also included three others none of which have a visible name or credit to an artist on the back which is a disappointment. Does anyone have any idea?

I’m please to say Jules Burt continues to upload his excellent videos to ‘YouTube’ They cover a very wide and varied range of topics several of which relate to PAN Books so here are a few that you might have missed.

Original Book Cover Artwork

PAN Record Magazine

PAN Giants X101 to X200

PAN Giants X201 to X350

Constance Heaven, Pan/Pavane and a Poster.

Just checking up on titles by Constance Heaven who also wrote under her maiden name of Constance (Aimee) Fetcher and Chritina Merlin. She was born on the 6th August 1911 in London and died on the 12th April 1955 at Kingston Upon Thames. I found I was one short of the five titles done as a wrap around cover by artist unknown namely The Astrov Inheritance’ from 1977. I eventually found an image on Gumtress in Australia where it was in a bundle of other books. Luckily Carmen, the lady who was offering them, kindly agreed to sell me just the one for a very low price which became quite a bit higher after postage. I cannot understand how some sellers only want 3 Australian dollars via Skippy Post when other ask nearly 30 to post the same item using Australia Post?

A while ago I was looking for the few titles that Pan published with their usual red, pink and black logo but rather than the word PAN underneath it says Pavanne. Later editions drop the PAN log and just have the word Pavanne. The title I added was ‘Wanting’ by Angela Huth with a cover by Paul Sample who did so many for PAN including many of the Tom Sharp novels.

Thanks to Alysoun at PAN who managed to find me a postcard and double sided poster (24″x16″) for the 42nd anniversary of the ‘Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy’ being first broadcast on the radio last year. This year in October it will be 42 years since PAN published the paperback edition and I’m just wondering if they will produce anything special for this?
 Click HERE to see side one and click HERE to see side two of the poster.

Pat Owen, ‘Angelique’ and Will’s Cigarette Cards.

While identifying which Nevil Shute covers were by Hans Helweg I found the original artwork for a couple by Pat Owen. Looking at others in the same edition they are so similar they probably are by Pat but I can’t attribute them all yet although a few are signed, these are ones I’ve included on the page. Sue, Pat’s widow, has promised me a list of all the artwork she knows about so hopefully a few more might be included there. The painting above hangs on the wall in the attic (it has been covereted to a bedroom I hasten to add) and was painted by Pat in 1980 as a member of the Guild of Aviation Artists

This weeks Hans Helweg sketches are for the 1968/69 editions of ‘Angelique’ by Sergeanne Golon (Serge and Anne Golon) Amongst the printers proofs was a cover for The Countess Angelique’ featuring one of Hans paintings but I don’t have a copy myself and couldn’t find a copy listed for sale. The only one I have with this ISBN is the Canadian edition. I contacted Alysoun at PAN who assures me that there are copies out there so I’ll just keep looking.
UPDATE Alysoun has now looked at their file copies in the archives and found they are the Canadian editions so maybe the printers proof is a one off and an edition was never issued with this cover, anyone got a copy?

After featuring Storm Jameson on a Will’s cigarette card card I managed to get an album for the set. There are forty cards altogether and feature some well know names from the PAN library of authors.
Here is the list →

Yvonne Gilbert, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ and the last ‘Horizon’!

Having mentioning that I had been in contact with Yvonne Gilbert and her Piccolo covers in a previous blog  I saw one of her original artworks for sale on eBay at a reasonable price. It was for a page in her four book series ‘Me and My Pets’ and I recognised it as from ‘Me and My Rabbit’ I ordered a copy and was surprised to find I received ‘Me and My Kitten’, another copy ordered and this time ‘Me and My Puppy’ It was then I realised all the titles had the same ISBN and from sellers where they have ‘too many books to check editions” I bought three more hoping I would strike luck and this time got two copies of ‘Me and My Rabbit and one reply “we can’t find it” All I need now is ‘Me and My Pony’ to complete the set! I framed the artwork with a scan of the cover and appropriate page and was going to give it to my Grandson but then the seller said “I’ve got another eight pages, are you interested?” After thirty seconds of negotiating a very favourable price, well it was for me, I will now frame these the same but they may stay with me!

After all the publicity for The Queen’s Gambit’ by Walter Tevis on Netflix I got my copy off the shelf and found it was a 2nd printing from 1984 with a slightly different cover to a 1st. I think the 1st. is better with the PAN logo not to the side. I thought I look around for a 1st only to find the it’s silly prices time again. The cheapest seems to be £86 while the Australia edition’s price is eye wateringly silly. PAN published a couple of Tevis titles as a matching pair you can see HERE.

After trying to get all the PAN Horizons series I have been one short for a long time. I had a scan of the page thanks to a very nice librarian in Australia who had a copy and very kindly scanned it and sent it to me. Every now and again I go through my list of  wants to see if I can find a copy yet  (Yes, I do have automatic searches set up but they don’t always deliver) and for ‘Those Summer Girls I Never Met’ it is always seemed to be the Random House edition and illustration so when I spotted a copy on Amazon that said it was not as illustrated and was PAN I was really pleased. Now it has arrived I don’t think it has ever been opened let alone read. Perseverance pays off, now if I could just find that ‘Junior Crosswords Book 3’ …..!

‘The Werewolves of London’, ‘Leviathan’ and ‘The Aristide Case’

I was really pleased this week to be able to get the original artwork for  Brian Stableford’s ‘The Werewolves of London’ painted by Keith Scaife. I’ve added it to Keith’s page so you’ll need to scroll down to find it. The problem is now deciding what sort of frame to choose and which will leave the label stuck at the bottom still visible. I think these bits are all part of the attraction especially when it says ‘Don’t strip’ While looking for a PAN copy with a good cover I came across a French edition with a cover by Matthieu Blanchin and I couldn’t resist buying a copy for the weirdness

After mentioning the copy of ‘Leviathan’ that I had bought from a Hungarian bookseller not being sent because they were worried about them getting COVID from the UK – no I still don’t understand  – it arrived eventually. The cover is by Stuart Bodek but is not a dustjacket like I hoped it might be.

A while ago I was lucky enough to have been be given the original artwork for the book the  The Aristide Case’ by Storm Jameson. This was by Hans Helweg and was given to me by his wife Sue. It was Sue who also gave me folders of Hans sketches of which at least two relate to this title and I’ve put them together on the page. I can only find one other title by Storm Jameson published by PAN, namely ‘The Early Life of Stephen Hind’ from 1968
It was while I was trying to find a image of Storm Jameson that I came across a set of 40 cards featuring ‘Famous British Authors’ issued by W.D. and H.O. Willis in packets of cigarette of which one was Jameson. I couldn’t resist getting it and several more of the cards might appear at later dates as there are a lot of familiar names amongst them.
Apart from just the two books she also wrote forewords for PAN editions  of The Diary of Anne Frank’ and ‘Jane Eyre’
Continue reading

‘Bind Your Own’ Again, ‘Owls in the Family’ and ‘Deliverance’

After mentioning ‘BYO’ last week as a way to ruin your PAN paperbacks by making them into tacky hardbacks I hadn’t noticed that these had a write up in ‘PAN Record’ number 19 from May 1958.

This week the Hans Helweg sketches are from PAN’s children’s imprint Piccolo namely ‘Owls in the Family’ by Farley Mowat. It’s nice to see a clear full signature.

Just looking at how many editions PAN published of ‘Deliverance’ by James Dickey. I have four with two of them being linked to the film with the first tie-in edition being shown on some of the film posters. While checking if there were any more PANs this one came up, the 1973 Swedish edition published by Pan/Norstedt ISBN 9117321913. Norstedt used the PAN imprint but later dropped it, maybe it caused confusion?

“Seven Years in Tibet”, Elizabeth Byrd and Dinosaur Jokes.

I recently picked up a rebound copy of the PAN 1956 edition of ‘Seven Years in Tibet by Heirich Harrer which caught my eye as it wasn’t the usual amateur job such as BYO (Bind Your Own) but a professional looking one. It has a sticker inside saying it was rebound as a hardback in Hong Kong. PAN released four different editions between 1956 and 1974 and not always with more attractive covers especially not the 1974 edition!

This weeks drawings by Hans Helweg are for ‘Immortal Queen’ by Elizabeth Byrd. Wikipedia says ‘Elizabeth Byrd (December 8, 1912 – May 11, 1989) was an American author. Her main body of work is historical fiction, and her most successful novel is Immortal Queen, a historical romance about Mary, Queen of Scots. Nine of her thirteen novels were published while she was living in Scotland” PAN published seven of her titles.

I was once told it cost a lot of money to produce books with things like the bullet holes or film sprocket holes for James Bond titles or the shape of a tombstone for the Grave Humour titles so I was surprised to find ‘The Dinosaur Joke Book’ was not a straightforward shape with the top rounded off.

‘Screaming’, Steinbeck and Rival Logos!

Is there some reason that the few copies of ‘And Now The Screaming Starts’ by David Case from 1973 that I’ve found appear to be a) expensive and b) in awful condition or is it just me? This was originally published as Fengriffen but not by PAN. This is my copy which has been much improved(!) in PhotoShop.

This weeks Hans Helweg’s sketches and maquettes are for ‘Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck. I’ve included later copies with artwork by John Walsh and Brian Sanders. Annoyingly, after much hunting, I cannot find my copy by Brian so have not been able to include a decent scan. I thought I had found another copy on a French site and on checking was told it was, as stated in the description, with a cover by Brian so why when it arrived was it the one with a cover by Walsh? How hard can it be to get this right and it now involves me sending it back, I’m wondering if it will be as easy now with customs etc. we have left the EU. As I have said many times I did NOT vote to leave.

This might be just me but I’ve only just noticed the logo for the Fontana children’s imprint ‘Fanfare’  next to the one for PAN’s ‘Piccolo’ have a similar musical theme. As I said it might just be me ……..! I’ve tried to find out which came first and so far ‘Piccolo’ wins as they started in 1971 while the earliest titles I’ve found from ‘Fanfare’ are dated 1972, a couple of  ‘Tamworth Pig’ stories by Gene Kemp.

Hans Helweg’s ‘Shutes’, Evan Hunter and ‘Cover Me’

Amongst the many sketches I have in Hans Helweg’s folders are several for Nevil Shute covers. I’m starting to compile a page featuring Hans’ Shute covers and the preliminary sketches and paintings that go with them which can be seen HERE. With them not being signed, well not obviously although he did put in the occasional HH, I’ve used the sketches, paintings I have or where in his workshop, the printers proofs he had on file and his list he made of the covers he could remember. I was pleased to find X117 was one of his as he had a printers proof for the 1962 edition and in his list he says the 1968 version is listed as a Redo.

A while ago, while featuring Ed McBain I mentioned that he was really Evan Hunter and PAN only published one title  under this name, Nobody Knew They Were There’  Now I know you’ll find this hard to believe(!) but I was wrong and have found another one and I think there may be more plus he also wrote as Richard Marsten so ‘The Spiked Heel’ was another published by PAN. It says ‘Come Winter‘ is the sequel to ‘Last Summer’ although this latter title wasn’t published by PAN.

After including the obituary of David Larkin from the Macmillan magazine last week, this issue also included a write up onCover Me’ by Colin Larkin published by ‘TELOS’

Cecil Vieweg, Pat Owen and David Larkin

It nice to keep in touch with artists and in this case it’s Cecil Vieweg. I recently came across his original artwork for one of the 32 cards inserted into packs of cigars. There is a very fetching photo of Cecil on the back of the folder with him holding another of the cards. I have added the artwork and the card (although not PAN) to the bottom of his page. Cecil has also promised me a CD of some of his preliminary sketches so looking forward to that arrive soon.

For a long time I’ve tried to track down Pat Owen once resorting to ringing all the P Owens along the south coast without success but I did have some interesting conversations! . Fortunately Kathy Ford, Sam Peffer’s great niece, pointed me in the right direction and if I had known his first name was actually Cyril I’d have found him much sooner. Unfortunately Pat passed away on the 26th May 2017 but I am in contact with Sue, his widow, who sent me an a article that appeared on the news letter of the ‘Guild of Aviation Artist’ of which Pat was a member. I hope they don’t mind me including it here. I need to sort out a page for him and will put one on the site ASAP but in the meantime HERE is the link to an article featuring Pat and Sam which I put on the site quite a while ago with kind permission of Steve Chibnall.

As I have mentioned previously David Larkin passed away last year. His brother Colin wrote an obituary for the Macmillan newsletter which I am now allowed to include here as it has now been published. Thanks to Colin for letting me have a copy. Click HERE to view as a PDF