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

Bits and Pieces

As a couple of titles ordered have not arrived yet I’m making a miscellany this week.

FlemingGF[1]I see ‘Ian Fleming;  A Personal Memoir’ by Robert Harling came out recently. I presume this is to cash in on ‘Spectre’ as Harling died in 2008. Harling was not only an author but also a typographer and designed the ‘Tea Chest’ font which is probably most well know from the Richard Chopping covers for Bond titles such as ‘Goldfinger’

PAN published four of Robert Harling’s novels over the years which were ‘The Paper Palace’, ‘The Enormous Shadow’, ‘The Endless Colonnade’ and ‘The Hollow Sunday’

TheSpyWhile on the Bond theme and not quite PAN but Panther I’ve only just found out Christopher Wood died this year. He wrote the novelisation of the films of ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ and ‘Moonraker’ published by Panther. Just to be different here is the Dutch edition of TSWLM published by Bruna. It was only this week though that I discovered he wrote the ‘Confessions of …..’ books as Timothy Lea. I have to ‘confess’ that I do have a complete set of this series as they are supposedly set around here in the Midlands and I like the local references, well that’s my excuse anyway!

Another author published by PAN also died last month, namely presenter, newsreader and novelist Gordon Honeycombe. He wrote several books but only one ‘Neither The Sea Nor The Sand’ was published in 1971 by PAN.

Couple of page updates, another cover for ‘The King’s General’ added to the Daphne du Maurier page. This is the 1982 cover by ? and I can’t believe I’d missed it but then again it is very similar to the 1974 version. Thanks to my sister for that one.

I’ve added another cover added to the Derek Stowe page for a Panther numbered 565 from 1956 ‘Land Beyond the Law’ If anyone knows any other Panther or PAN covers by Derek that aren’t on his pages please let me know as Derek doesn’t have a list of his work.

….. and finally I was amused at a description on eBay for ‘Quick and Easy Chinese Cooking’ by Ken Low published by PAN in 1973 where under condition it says “page edges browned’ Now I’ve heard of cooking the books but …..!

Book Fair Two plus Michael Johnson

Isn’t it always the way, no local book fairs for months then two come along in the same week. On Friday we went to the annual fair at the Methodist Church in Lichfield, one of my favourites as I don’t think they let dealers in before hand, but not as successful as visits in the past. The pile of the left is mine, the ones of the right are those of my wife, probably a draw this time!

There were a lot of old friends in the boxes, I think some of the Penguins from the 30’s and 40’s were nearly new when they first went out! I ended up buying five paperbacks and one I was really pleased to find was a Jean Plaidy with a signed cover. Usually they are unsigned and attributed to Renato Fratini but this one was signed ‘Raynes’ so another to add to John’s page and I now need to look at the Plaidy titles more carefully.  Louismag
No original PAN artwork this week as I’m still waiting to hear back from the artist himself to see if he has any memories of producing the covers. To compensate I’m showing some artwork by Michael Johnson including one I have for a Coronet title.  Johnson painted five covers for PAN in the ‘Angelique’ series plus a sixth title for Putnam in the States. Why PAN didn’t use the sixth or Putnam the other five I don’t know.

Just added a couple of Piccolo covers by Gavin Rowe whom I mentioned in the last blog. I’m sure he must have done more than two so I’ll keep looking.

Cartland Bantam versus PAN & Happy Birthday to my Wife

Looking at a few of the Bantam covers of Barbara Cartland novels shows they used the same artwork as PAN for some titles and very similar images for others. I’ve put a random selection HERE. It’s interesting to see how many different styles Bantam used while PAN was consistent over the 18 or so years they published Cartland titles.

On a different note it is my wife’s Birthday tomorrow and as she is a Robinson Crusoe fan I’ve got her some original artwork and had it framed. It was coincidence that while looking through some Readers Digest Condensed Books (see previous blog) I saw ‘Robinson Crusoe’ with artwork by Jack McCarthy which I ignored as he didn’t do work for PAN as far as I can ascertain. It was a couple of days later that a message popped up on eBay, while I was looking at something completely different, saying I might be interested in some artwork which turned out to be the original for the frontispiece. Needless to say I bought it along with another McCarthy which I presume is the front cover of another ‘Best Loved Books’ I’m guessing the legionnaires could be ‘Beau Gest’ but the other parts don’t go with the only copy of the book I can find as it is a US version and the UK ones had different sets of titles. Does anyone know of a copy as below?RD

More Julian May Covers from Stephen Bradbury + Others

ReflectionsIn the book “Reflections: The Art Of Stephen Bradbury” published by Paper Tiger in 1996 can be found the original artwork for the covers for “The Saga of the Exiles” series where Stephen tells of his meeting with Gary Day-Ellison and how lucky he was to get the commission as it was Friday and “Gary didn’t see anybody on a Friday” His obvious disappointment softened the secretary’s heart, he had five minutes to show his portfolio anf the rest is history as they say. After the “Exiles” covers he went on to do the four covers in the “Galactic Milieu” series, namely “Intervention”, “Jack the Bodiless”, “Diamond Mask” and “Magnificat” The eight covers are linked in that the angel in “Magnificat” metamorphoses back into the skull on the cover of “The Many Coloured Land”
CoverCycleI have now added several more covers of various dates to my original Julian May PAN Books page including some of the American titles Stephen mentioned saying “If you see the American covers for the same series, they are a bit cringeworthy” Dare I say I quite like some of them especially “Adversary” from 1983. It is also interesting to see the later PAN editions from 1994 onwards where the artwork is spoilt by being squashed to fit a format for which they were not intended.

The PAN Book of Card Games by Hubert Phillips

A while ago I was tempted by an item on eBay namely a copy of “The PAN Book of Card Games” from 1960 which appeared to be hollowed out to give a secret compartment. I was wondering if this was an amateur job but quite the reverse. The seller told me her husband was a sales rep for PAN in the 50/60’s and he gave these away as a novelty including two packs of cards. Unfortunately mine didn’t so I’m showing it with a couple of packs of a later date but if anyone does have a contemporary set then I’d love to hear from you. I did wonder if the cards were the ones shown on the back cover of the book but on trying my packs found they were too big. These cards were printed by the Thomas de la Rue printing company in 1957 for their 125th anniversary and the First International Playing Card Week. The designs are by the French tapestry designer Jean Picart le Doux. I see someone is asking $1200 for a couple of packs on so I’d better take more care of mine! I’m hoping to met up with the rep in Chepstow later in the year as he says he has some PAN related photos from his time working for them but he wants to remain anonymous.

The artwork for the book is by Glenn Steward who began working as a book cover artist in 1957 and worked for several firms including Digit Books (1957) and Panther (1958) and then PAN Books producing nearly 150 covers in six years although he continued to work for Pan until at least 1968. According to Simon Marsh-Devine he was still working in 1994 but I can find nothing after this time. As usual if anyone can add any further information I love to hear from you.

I’ve also added another screen capture to the ‘As Seen on TV’ section as the opening credits for the series “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is” shows one of the presenters, Philip Serrell, standing in front of a book case with at least three PANs in it. I can definitely identify two X86 “The Intruder”and X434 “YOLT” but not the sixth from the right as it is newer than the others. If you click on the picture below you should be able to see it but it’s not as clear as I would like. My guess is ‘Majipoor Chronicles’ by Robert Silverberg with the Josh Kirby cover from 1983?Put your Money 2

“So Long and Thanks For All the Fish” Promo Material etc

Peter Tiejten (whom I’ve mentioned before and worked with Ken Hatherley in the Art Studios at PAN in the 70’s) was responsible for book promotions. I have several photos of  bits and pieces used to promote the 4th book in the ‘HHG’ series “So Long and Thanks for All the Fish’ HH5Peter writes “Douglas Adams always caused the cover and promotion departments loads of problems because of his late delivery of manuscripts. Usually the cover and display material had been completed before Douglas had finished writing the book – which meant anything went. “So long, and thanks for all the fish” called for a stuffed bird in a display case on the front of the brochure (obviously!) and inside, another picture showed the plug having been inserted in a socket; the bird had disappeared from the perch and all that remained were a few feathers! Each display bin was sent out with “a fistful of feathers” along with the books. Douglas was a lovely chap who very kindly signed a copy of “So Long…” for me BEFORE it had been printed. How? He signed a blank dummy book – which I still treasure!!! ”

I’ve put a few more of the photos on this page

Gary Day-Ellison, PAN Design and Art  Director (1977 to 1988) at the time said “Now, this is what I mean by massively late. Sales needed a cover to rack up the orders. I had to deliver the design for the hardback jacket before Douglas produced the book. I made him promise to tell me what he had in mind. On his way out of the Fulham Road offices he stuck his head round my office door to brief me. He said, “It’s called ‘So Long and Thanks for All the Fish’. And left.I sat, lost for words. A few minutes passed and his head re-appeared, “But there are no fish in it.“, he declared – and fled. This left me license to match enigma with enigma. And when the penny eventually dropped, it landed in a pint of Guinness and produced a ‘lenticular print‘. I found one of a walrus that morphed into a dinosaur, originally produced as a give-away for a cereal packet. Douglas Adams wrote in my copy ‘The silliest jacket in the history of history itself'”


Click on walrus to see it morph.

Which Anniversary Year?

I think 2015 should be the year PAN celebrates 70 years but they probably won’t until 2017. PAN was registered as a limited company on the 1st September 1944 and their first title ‘Tales Of The Supernatural’ was published in 1945 hence 70 years this year. For some reason or other PAN decided that ‘Ten Stories’ from 1947 was their first title (well it is numbered 1) but their CEO up to September 2007 Richard Charkin, on his blog, agreed with me. I’m too modest to also mention the several glowing reference he gave to my website such as “Anyone who is the least bit interested in the history of publishing will enjoy Tim’s brilliant ‘First 25 years of Pan Books’ website. In particular, the covers are sensational, the site has scores – all evocative”superA couple of PAN related ‘projects’ I have in hand include a visit to the ‘British Museum’ to actually see the original bronze on which the ‘Golden PAN’ award is modelled now it’s back from it’s world travel’s and not normally on display. The other is updating the pages on the founder of PAN Books, Alan Bott. I have a family photo album that belonged to his son, Simon, (kindly lent to me by his son, Adrian) and I will include a lot of these soon. Here is a sample one of A J Bott with A S Frene(?) in front of a Desoutter Sports Coupe from 1929Alan John BottFinally I have a small pile of 6 Barbara Cartland titles to add to her page which will bring the total shown up to 100, definitely going to stop there!

Happy New Year 2015

Happy hunting for all those elusive titles and I know it’s going to be the year I get that last title on my list X705 – or maybe not.

Just getting ready to hang up this years calendar and to all those who wanted one, sorry they’ve all gone, which is not surprising as there is only ever one. Last year it was a selection of Sam ‘PEFF’ Peffer covers and this year features the Shute covers of George Sharp. Unfortunately PAN did not foresee that I would make a calendar and only published 22 titles which messed up my two covers a month. I’ve had to pad out December with a couple of other examples of George’s work.

Here’s to the next 52 blogs for 2015 which will be another eclectic mix of topics but all vaguely PAN related including, hopefully, something for everyone.

UPDATE Having added a screen shot to the ‘As Seen on TV’ section last week, the first for ages, just like buses another comes along. It’s one for the eagle eyed from the antiques programme ‘Bargain Hunt’

‘The Best Of American Crime Fiction’ Series

hANDCUFFSFollowing on from my reference in the last blog to Hillary Waugh, who coincidently died on this day in 2008, I began to look out the covers with the same style as ‘Last Seen Wearing’ thinking there were probably only half a dozen but I eventually found 20. This may not be all as I found them by guess work and looking along the shelves. There may be some as variants on other covers than I’ve not discovered yet.  They are all labelled ‘The Best Of American Crime Fiction’ and have the stylised ‘handcuffs’ with a graphic in the middle. I’ve not found any with an artists name and look as though they were done by two or three different hands. I’ve put them all together on one page as several people have mentioned they like to see them like this rather than one at a time. As usual I look forward to hearing from anyone who can add to the list or help with artists.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

DoyleA TV crew are currently filming about a mile away from where I am at the moment working on a dramatisation of the book “Arthur and George’ by Julian Barnes although the location is supposed to be secret. Here’s a report in the local paper.
This has prompted me to sort out all the later (from about 1970) Conan Doyle titles from PAN with ISBN numbers as the earlier ones with PAN numbers are already on the site (100, 106177, 286, 333and Doyle linked GP20 ) plus the Harlequin/PAN Canadian edition of ‘The Lost World’

The later editions and titles can be found by clicking HERE or on Sir Arthur above.

PANI have also received a pile of PAN beer bits and pieces from Tomi in Croatia following on from my reference to it after visiting Croatia last month. I’ve added them to the page but I forgot to include the green opener in the picture so here it is!