PAN Fans

Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for

PAN Fans - Let's talk about PAN paperbacks – the blog for

Colin Dexter Pan Crime, More Plastic Covers, RIP Albert Finney and George’s Covers?

I’ve added a few more covers to the Colin Dexter page and although they don’t have the ‘PAN Man’ on them they do have the PAN Crime dagger that was used for a couple of years along with several others designs for the different genres. One is odd in that there are two variants of the style that was previously used on just one title, the red dagger and the yellow rectangle. I’ve left some areas with just a message in then hope that these editions do exist but I don’t know for sure at the moment.

After putting on a PAN title with a Plastic Cover last week I have since found four more. As a site that does judge a book by its cover I’ll leave you to form your own opinions!

We lost another actor from my formative years last Thursday, namely Albert Finney. I can remember sneaking in to see ‘Tom Jones’, cert 18, when I was 13 but I was tall for my age! Alan Sillitoe received a Golden PAN award for ‘Saturday Night and Sunday Morning’

I’ve also heard back from George Sharp regarding the cover for ‘Count Vronsky’s Daughter which, even with his name on the back, he says is not his! This is the second cover George says is not his even with his name on the back, the other being the 1980 edition of  ‘The White Rajah’

John Burke, Golden PAN Awards and a Plastic Cover

John Burke, who wrote over thirty titles for PAN under different names, also appeared on the BBC TV programme ‘Mastermind’ He got through to the semi-finals as did his wife Jean who was also on ‘Brain of Britain’ Thanks to the BBC Genome Project you can find the listings which the BBC printed in Radio Times between 1923 and 2009.
HERE are the listing relating to John and Jean plus of one of his plays.

After putting on details for Adam Kay and his well deserved ‘Golden PAN Awards’ I’ve been updating the page for these awards. The the link can always be found at the top of this page.

A while ago I put on three PAN titles which were slightly larger than a paperback and which had plastic covers. I’ve now added a fourth, ‘The Personal Computer Handbook’ but for the the life of me I can’t work out why you might need a wipe clean book about computing!

Back in the day when I was a real teacher we were the first authority in the UK  to have a computer in every classroom including the nursery schools. I’m not saying there is a connection but a certain computing giant (this was back in 1980) did have it’s UK headquarters about half a mile away from our Education Department. The company is listed in in the above mentioned book.

Adam Kay, James Herriot and a Couple of Artists Updates.

I was really pleased to hear from James Seabright who leads Seabright Productions of another ‘Golden PAN Award’ and this time given to Adam Kay for selling a million copies of ‘This Is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries Of A Junior Doctor’ Adam is touring the UK over the next few months with his show of the same name produced by James and, fingers crossed, my wife and I will get to see Adam (and maybe the award?) in Dudley in June.

It was my birthday last Wednesday and having spent the first part of it in A&E after my Iritis returned after five years I was really pleased to find what should have been a Christmas present to myself, but is now a Birthday present, had arrived a last. It is a boxed set of the first six James Herriot titles STILL in their shrink wrapped box. Now the dilemma is, as I bought them from Canada, do I open them to find out if they are they UK or Canadian editions, no clues on the outside? 

The couple of artist updates are for ‘Count Vronsky’s Daughter’ with a cover by George Sharp and ‘Storm Warning’ of which I now have a copy  and can confirm it is from 1993 with a cover by Adrian Chesterman.

Janet Sandison aka Jane Duncan, Dexter additions and raw fingers!

After falling off a ladder last week in our side passage and managing to run the fingers of my hands down both brick walls trying to brace myself I have nicely skinned all my finger tips. This is making typing and using a mouse a little painfully but on the plus side it has got me out of a lot of other things!

I eventually got the last title in the ‘An Apology for the Life of Jean Robinson’ series by Elizabeth Jane Cameron who wrote as Jane Duncan writing as Janet Sandison! Janet Sandison was the name of the main heroine in her ‘My Friends” series in which there were nineteen titles with fourteen of them published by PAN. I’ve not found artists for the first three titles but I did find a reference to the fourth being by Jooce Garrett and I’ve sent him an email to see if this is correct.

I also picked up another three editions in the Colin Dexter ‘Morse’ series that have the PAN Man logo on them from 1983 and 1984 (LBTW, TSWONQ, TROTTM) They might be seen as the ‘International’ editions as they are not TV tie-ins for countries where the series was probably not broadcast and on the plus side I don’t think they’ve ever been read.

If the fingers are up to it I’ll try and re scan all the Jane Duncan ‘My Friends’ titles and put them on one page as they are still under their PAN numbers at the moment.

UPDATE Have just heard back from Jooce Garrett to say that the Sandison cover is his and was the first one he did. Have also heard from Paul Wright who asked me to remind him which PAN covers were his which I’ve done and awaiting further communication.

Three Artists – Burningham, Wright and Coleman

It’s sad to report another artist has gone, this time it’s John Burningham who died on the 4th January but it wasn’t announced until last week. He illustrated many books but as far as PAN Fans go it is probably for his work for ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ that he is most well know. PAN published two editions in 1968, the first under the Piccolo imprint and the second as a film tie-in. Interestingly, although John illustrated the text in both, his work only features on the cover of the 2nd printing. Paul Wright is credited for the 1st.

It is a strange coincidence in that only this week I got a later copy of ‘Fiasco’ and was trying to work out the signature on the cover when I realised that this was also Paul Wright. I’ve tried to contact him to ask if he did the covers specifically for PAN or if they were recycled as he was a prolific marine artist, no reply so far. He also did the text illustrations for the Piccolo editions of the five Alexander Barrie novels (the above is an example)

I picked up a copy of ‘Learn to Paint Portraits’ by Roger Coleman which included the photo above. Roger painted covers for 1974 PAN Nevil Shute series which were also used for the US Ballantine editions. In the book he shows how he works on a portrait and I though one example looked familiar.It is of another PAN cover artist Michael Leonard whose self portrait hangs in the Ferens Art Gallery in Kingston-Upon-Hull except when we go to see it and all the portraits were replaced by contenders for the 2017 Turner Prize nominees. The book gave me a location for Roger and I’ve managed to track down an address for someone with the same name there and a letter has gone off. As usual fingers crossed but no response up to now.

Brian Garfield, Carola Salisbury and a couple of updates.

A little late but I’ve only just noticed we lost Brian Garfield on the 29th December, He wrote over 60 books under various names but PAN only published seven under his real name. He is probably most well know for the novel ‘Death Wish’ which was not published by PAN but a few others that were were made into films including ‘Hopscotch’ in 1980 and ‘Death Sentence’ from 2007. I’m still awaiting two of the titles but I’ve included scans from the internet until they arrive. See them HERE.

Another author who wrote under his own name of John Michael ‘Mike’ Butterworth (born on the 10th January 1924 in Nottingham) also used the pseudonym of Carola Salisbury and this time PAN only published those using the Salisbury name. As well as writing romance he also scripted ‘The Trigan Empire’ comic strip and was also credited with starting the ‘Playhour’ comic which gives me the excuse to resurrect my personalised artwork of Harry  Hamster who featured in it. Again two scans from the net but hoping to replace them soon with real scans, see them all HERE.

I’m still trying to get hold of copies of all the books featured in the ‘PAN Classsics’ series and I managed to get copies of ‘Middlemarch’ and ‘Joseph Andrews’ but they were in a pile of other titles I didn’t really want but at a I price couldn’t resist. Looks like a National Trust bookshop will be getting another donation soon. 

One other book I’ve been trying to get for a while is the 1990 copy of ‘Storm Warning’ by Jack Higgins so when I saw one listed by a company that up to now has been 100% right in their descriptions as 1990 New Ed I though I’d got it but as usual turns out to be the same old 1977 edition as used in all the stock photos. Not sure why I want this one as I have a good image off the net but then I did have the rule that I would only include covers I actually had and I am still trying to make that true.

Happy New Year 2019, Pearl Buck and a Ramble

Having been away vising our son in Kent since Christmas I was hoping to get back and find a pile of books waiting to be added to the blog but I’m sadly disappointed so for the first blog of 2019 and numbered somewhere around 370 it’s going to be almost a content free one. One book I was really hoping for was from the States I ordered it at the beginning of December so was not happy to get an email the day before Christmas to ask could I confirm the address they had was correct before they sent it!

I did get one book in the post on Christmas Eve from Germany which arrived a couple of days after ordering and cost me a lot less, including postage, than other copies from here in the UK. It was another Pearl Buck title from the 1973 series, this one was ‘Mandala’ with a cover that looks very much like one by Michael Johnson. I have few of his to query so I may send him an email soon.

We did have one sadness the day before Christmas Eve in that we lost one of the cats that live at the end of our road. There are a few which we all look after and Archie was a lovely friendly silver tabby but didn’t really want to live indoors. Sadly he got knocked down by a car and was dead when we found him. I think we were all in tears when Jeanette from across the road said “I’ve only just wrapped his present from Joey” (their cat) I don’t think you have to be a cat lover to empathise with this.

Here’s hoping that 2019 turns out to be a more relaxing year than 2018 with Brexit done and dusted.I have said in my last blog I voted to remain but now I just want it sorted one way or another. At least we’ve all got our PAN’s to take our minds off the real world and I can always go and bash some brambles on our cycle track for which we’ve just received a certificate for all our hard work in 2018!

Wishing you all a Very Happy 2019


PS Santa did let me down, no sign of X705 no matter how hard I looked under the tree!

Pearl S Buck, Cromwell and Seasons Greetings

While looking for some background information on Pearl Sydenstricker Buck I clicked on a link which gave me the message below. Does this mean when we Brexit the EU in March I can visit the site? At this point I would like to reiterate I voted to stay in spite of all the ‘old people’ being accused of voting to leave. Can we please just get it over and done with one way or another. Moan over.

I have been sorting my Pearl Buck titles and found four of her novels with the later style of cover. I’ve put these on a page HERE and am currently re-scanning all the earlier editions which will feature in a later blog.

I have a few copies of the paper sculpture book ‘Cromwell’ by Godley and Creme but another one I got recently has a ‘With Compliments’ slip inserted in the fold. I think it is a British company although I’ve not managed to track one down with the same logo. I bought it from Australia (It was too much of a bargain to resist even with the p&p) but as it only lists a UK price on the back I’m presuming it was from the UK.?

Here is this years offering of a Christmas themed title. I was going to include one of the puzzles but they are all so awful I can’t bring myself to choose the least worst! It’s 0330 312146 from 1989.

… and finally can I wish all my fellow PAN Fans a very Happy Christmas and that you get all you want off Santa. I’ve got fingers crossed for the last title I need ‘X705’ I’m sure he won’t let me down this year as I been really good – honestly!

Maurice Druon, Jack Hayes and ‘Figure It Out’

I’ve had the first three titles in the Maurice Druon ‘The Accursed Kings’ series sitting on the shelves for quite a while and I had thought they were Maurice Druon probably the only ones PAN published as I remember doing an extensive search for others. So I was very surprised when I came across titles 4 to 6 also published by PAN all of which can be seen HERE (there was a seventh ‘The King Without a Kingdom’ but not published by PAN) I’ve also added a later Druon title not in the series.

I was please to see when looking through my edition of ‘Men of Violence’ volume 11 from the Justine Marriott stable it contained a reference to artist Jack Hayes whom I’ve mentioned before with some examples HERE. I recently picked up a Corgi Book of ‘The Long Wait’ by Mickey Spillane with a more interesting Hayes cover than the historical ones he seemed to paint for PAN. His life is still a bit of a mystery so if anyone has any background on him please let me know.

….. and talking of stables we went away in the camper last week and stayed in the middle of Warwick Racecourse while racing was on. Luckily the only bets I placed were virtual as I ‘d have been well out of pocket, in fact one of mine turned round half way and walked back! Luckily with the camper being right next to the railings we could watch from the comfort of our well heated accommodation.

Finally I noticed my copy of ‘Figure It Out’ says ‘Special Edition for Scholastic Publications’ on the back. I’m can’t think of any others like this, they are usually either a straight PAN or Piccolo or with a different cover for Scholastic. That’s something to look for when it’s not quite so cold in my library.