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

Mary Howard, Jules Burt and Paul Sample

Mary Mussi, née Edgar (27/12/1907 to 2/3/1991), was a British writer born in London. She was the author of over fifty romance novels as Mary Howard and also wrote over ten Gothic romance as Josephine Edgar. She is one of only two novelists to win the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists’ Association three times (Mary Maddocks won four times)  She also won the Elinor Glyn award in 1961 and was a past chairwoman of Society of Women Writers and Journalists. PAN published eight of her titles as Mary Howard but I’ve not found any as Joesphine Edgar. You can see the covers HERE

Fellow PAN Fan Jules Burt certainly struck lucky recently with a haul of eight boxes of PAN’s and six of paperbacks from other publishers, not that I’m envious in any way!!!!!! Click HERE to see a selection of the fascinating videos Jules has posted recently and keep visiting to see the boxes being unpacked of which this is a tantalising glimpse.

A while back, when I had an ‘Australian’ special with titles printed in Australia I included ‘Virginity Stakes’ by Don Townshend with a cover by Paul Sample. At the time Paul said “Hi Tim, Yes, it is one of my illustrations, dating from the early 70’s……….I can remember drawing it, dip pen, ink and watercolour. I did quite a few book jacket illustrations besides all the ones for Tom Sharpe’s books. Not all of the jackets were for Pan though” Since then I’ve come across ‘Gland Times’ which is the same book with the same cover but was the earlier UK printing. Not sure if there is much to choose between either of the titles? Click HERE to see them both.
Paul was born in 1947 in Leeds as is best known for his cartoon strip Ogri, and for the covers of paperbacks by Tom Sharpe and Flann O’Brien, posters for BBC Radio Two and advertisements for the Post Office, Ford, Dunlop, and British Airways. Paul trained at Bradford College of Art and at the Central School of Art and Design in London, where he studied graphic arts. As a student, he landed commissions from The Times and The Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph and Today, for which he designed and drew “The Zodiac Files’” strip cartoon. His first commission was for Management Today in 1968, for which he was paid £45. He went on to do freelance work for Melody Maker, Rockstar, Men Only and Skateboard magazines.

Wrong Book, David Morrell and Jean-Paul Tibbles

When you buy a book that says “PAN Books 1982 Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. the uncorrected proof in yellow wrappers” you would not expect to receive the 1981 hardback book club edition would you, surely not that similar to anyone who knows or cares about books? I admit it was cheap but the number of emails I got from the company asking for their label number which I had already sent them, then the ISBN which as a book club edition it doesn’t have and finally the copyright date. They eventually conceded it was wrong and gave me my money back. I’m not complaining about them that much, it’s more the fact I wanted that proof copy which apparently no longer exists. Now I may have a suspicious mind but at  £2.80 including postage I suspect they realised it was worth a bit more!

I heard recently from Peter Tietjen who asked about a post I put on a while back. It featured a copy of a poster to advertise the David Morrell title ‘The Totem’ which I has shown as it had a cover by George Sharp. Peter was interested as he had designed the poster and wanted to know if I knew of a copy that was not behind glass as there were reflections. I contacted  David who very speedily replied:
“Hi, Tim. I loved the Pan covers from the 1970s. When I have the time, I’ll arrange for a photograph of me next to the TOTEM poster that’s on my wall. Here’s a photo of another copy I have (I spread it on a table—it’s so big that I can’t get a perfectly proportioned image of it)” 
Here is the photo he kindly sent, Peter said it is based on ‘Man with a Newspaper’  (L’Homme au journal) by René Magritte (1898–1967) in the Tate

For quite a while I’ve been trying to contact artist Jean-Paul Tibbles and every now and again I fired off emails to an artist with the same name thinking there can’t be too may around. Up to last week I had no luck but this time I made contact. I was going to save this news to put with a page of his PAN covers but I was so pleased I’m including it now. I asked Jean-Paul if he had a photo I could include and he replied to say the pilot on his cover of ‘A Piece of Cake’ was a self portrait! More on that in a couple of weeks. 

‘Lockdown’, Sam and Roger, Wilbur Smith

From talking to fellow collectors I know it’s not just me being forced(!) to sit in front of a computer for hours on end as a consequence of COVID-19. On the minus side I know it is proving to be more expensive in terms of purchases but on the plus side feel I am doing my bit by keeping booksellers, the postman and delivery drivers in full employment! I though the above cartoon I found on a book collectors ‘Facebook’ page particularly apt, well it’s how my wife sees it.

Still looking through the negatives Kathy (Sam Peffer’s great niece) kindly gave me and I found one I could link to ‘To Love and be Wise’ by Josephine Tey of which PAN printed at least five editions with different covers between 1953 and 1973.  I was also intrigued to see the 1959 edition on the table behind Sam and Roger Hall. It’s almost as it they were sitting in the similar poses to those on the cover.

Picked up yet another signed PAN title inscribed to ‘Celeste’. She has been mentioned before being Celeste Parsons who worked at PAN in the 70’s. The seller also had several more Smith titles all signed to Celeste but I only bought the one as the Kevin Tweddell cover for Cry Wolf’ always make me think of the film ‘Tank Girl’ from 1995.

An Award, Acceptable?, Bond and Hammond Innes

People often ask “Are PAN still going?” Well to prove it they have just come first as the ‘Publisher of the Year’ in the ‘British Book Awards 2020’ Well done.

Today we have a quiz, guess which description goes with which book?

“Condition is Acceptable. This may be one of the only original surviving books in circulation. It is charming, some pages have been taped together a long time ago, but it gives it character, after all it was made in 1976”.

“Fair condition paperback – creasing and wrinkling to covers and tanning to pages – good reading copy”

The first one (left) was from eBay and although reasonably cheap didn’t look this bad in the photos and, trying to be kind, may have suffered in the post. The second one (right) was not much more expensive and was from Abebooks. Considering the descriptions are not a million miles apart their conditions certainly are.

Recently someone was selling fifteen Bond titles on Facebook in Hebrew. I think they must have been snapped up but I did message the seller to ask, very nicely,  if it was possible to have photos of just three of them before they were posted? I would have also liked to know what they were as apparently the one with the ‘From Russia With Love’ cover is actually ‘Thunderball’ Answer came there none! Click HERE to see the three covers that have elements from PAN covers

I purchased a copy of G381 ‘The Killer Mine’ by Ralph Hammond-Innes as not only was it signed by him but also there was a letter saying that he didn’t normally sign paperbacks(!)  but was making an exception so this was something rare. I am currently re-scanning Hammond Innes titles from PAN from the 1950/60’s when there seems to be a gap before PAN starts publishing titles again in the 1990’s. I went through AbeBooks and grabbed all the cover photos I could and put them together below.

2 Review Copies and Piccolo Crossword Number 12

I have to confess that I had not really heard of SF writer Barrington J Bayley until I saw a copy of ‘The Fall of Chronopolis’ along with ‘Collision with Chronos’ which also including a sheet with instructions for reviewers. This also names another double story edition plus Bayley was a contributor to ‘Stars of Albion’ Bayley was born in Birmingham on the 9th April 1937 and died in Telford on the 14th October 2008 leaving a long legacy of his work.
“Most commonly described as “underrated” or “visionary”, he has been cited as an influence by writers as well known as Brian Stableford and Bruce Sterling. A long-time friend of Michael Moorcock, who gave him a great deal of early exposure in his role as editor of New Worlds in the 1960s and 1970s, Barrington Bayley was a member of threesome including Moorcock and J G Ballard which plotted to overthrow traditional science fiction. Of the three, Bayley was perhaps the most inventive and the least successful. He is most commonly accused of poor character development and sloppy writing, but as a trade-off for stimulating, pyrotechnic, men’s own adventure space opera, these short-comings are easy to absorb”
(©Fantastic Fiction)

I found this Review Copy slip inside the 1991 Australian printing of ‘The Picador Henry Lawson’  Lawson has published over 40 books poetry, fiction, biography, literary and art criticism, travel, history and stories form children.

Over the years I have managed to pick up 11 of the 12 ‘Piccolo Crossword’ books but number 12 always proved elusive (but not as elusive as X705) in that several sellers listed an edition as number 23, which doesn’t exist, but with the ISBN for number 12. Eventually I found a seller listing 12 with the right ISBN but after placing the order the dispatch note said it was number 23! It was then a case of wait and see and eventually I got …….. the one I wanted which can be seen HERE

A Saucy Cover, ‘HOT LEAD’ and Phil Shaw

I like unusual covers and ‘Secret’s by Unity Hall is one in that the cover does not go all the way across the text block. It opens to reveal what is a little spicier than PAN’s usual offerings. If you click on the cover you’ll see what I mean.

‘HOT LEAD Most Wanted All Review Special” from Justin Marriott and many more authors is now available from Amazon HERE. I am not usually a ‘Western’ fan but there are certainly a few titles here that caught my eye and although I have the original artwork for several ‘Edge’ covers I’ve not actually read one so I now have the first ‘The Loner’ to be read. I was pleased to see a smattering of PAN editions in there including ‘Hart with the Gino D’Achille covers, ‘Lonesome Dove’ and ‘Flashman and the Redskins’

Although not PAN I did like this bookshelf of currently appropriate titles assembled by the artist Phil Shaw. I thought there was no way these were all genuine but after looking up a few it appears they are. Got me pondering on PAN titles now!

John Raynes, Anne Frank the ‘Vlogger’ and Artist Partners

While speaking to Jim O’Brien about ‘Hot Lead’ (of which more next week) he mentioned that John Raynes had died. I was quite shocked that it will be twelve months on Thursday the 11th and that I had missed it. I sent a very belated condolences message to his daughter Gaby and family who wrote on John’s page;
“John was an internationally exhibited and well renowned artist. Born in Australia he studied at the Royal College of Art 1951-57 and, over the next 35 years pursued a successful national and international illustration practice. John returned to painting full time in the 1990s, exhibiting in London, Brighton, Edinburgh, Portugal, Uzes, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. John was represented for portraiture at the prestigious Mall Galleries in London and elected to the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour in 2003, winning the St. Cuthberts Paper Mill Prize. John was one of only 12 portrait artists commissioned to work with celebrity participants in “Star Portraits” for BBC1″
Jules Burt and I visited him at his home in Falmouth on the 16th September 2012 and were made very welcome by John and Sheila and HERE is the page I put together afterwards. Sheila has got back to me to say;
“Thank you so much for your condolences, I did at first think of putting a notice in the Times but we then decided that we didn’t know anyone who read it so Gaby decided Facebook would be better, not sure I agreed but nothing reaches everyone.  John was pretty ill for some time but we didn’t expect things to happen so quickly. It will be a year on Thursday since he died, just short of his 90th birthday. It was good to see all the book covers together. I haven’t done a lot towards sorting out the studio and work yet, such a daunting proposition!”

I see that Anne Frank has become a ‘vlogger’ on ‘YouTube’ where her diary has been serialised into 15 parts byThe Ann Frank House Organisation’
‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ (later ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’) was one of PAN’s million copy sellers and so got a ‘Golden PAN Award’ although I’m not sure when they stopped publishing it and Penguin took over.

Having recently spoken to Christine Insteed of ‘Artist Partners’ I reread their 60th Celebration Brochure and had forgotten how many PAN related artists they have or had on the books. It has been a pleasure to have make contact with several of them or of family members over the last 20 or so years.

PAN Romance series, Roger Hall and an ‘I want …..’

Although the covers of the ‘Romance’ titles have been on the site for a while it was while looking at Roger Hall covers, several of which are in the series, I realised I really needed to re-scan them all. I am still waiting for one later (very uninspiring) cover to arrive from a far flung corner of the world which I’ll add but in the meantime HERE are the ones I’ve found up to know.

Trying to find information on artist Roger Hall has become easier since I found out his real name was Henry Walter Hall. Here are a few basic details and I’ll add more on ROGER’S page later.
Henry Walter (Roger) Hall was born on 26th December 1914 in London
His father was John Thomas Hall who was born on 12th Feb 1887 in Derby
His mother was Jessie Blanch Manning who was born on 23th Dec 1891 in London
John Married Jessica 7th April 1912 in London
Roger married Florence Susan Hemmings in September 1941
His son Roger A was born in June 1944.
His daughter Geraldine Susan (Cherry) was born in March 1947
Florence Susan died in December 1982 in Elstree, Hertfordshire aged 68
Roger died in December 2006 at the age of 91.

I get depressed looking through old catalogues when I see the lists of advertising materials that were available to go with book promotions. How much of them must have ended up with the rubbish – are there any PAN Man Column Displays or the PAN Book Week Cut-Out Showcards still out there?

Just a note to say that we lost my mother-in-law this morning at 3:00, she will be very much missed by us all. Although for the last three years she has been suffering from dementia there was just the occasional spark to remind us of how she once was. R.I.P Audrey XXX

RIP Ken Hatherley, A Christie Title and Piers Paul Read

I was really sad to hear from Colin Larkin that Kenneth Mervyn Hatherley died last week after suffering a massive heart attack and could not be revived. Ken was born in 1951 and followers of this blog will probably recognise the name as he was Studio Director at PAN in the 1970’s and 80’s. I put together a page after we meet up at his home and the link is HERE. I know one thing Ken was particularly proud of, but not credited with, was the icon style he designed for the ‘JAWS title looking like teeth.

I contacted Peter Tietjen who said about Ken;
“A dear pal of mine left this world on Saturday 9th May 2020. We met at Pan Books, Tothill Street in 1971 and soon discovered we shared the same wicked sense of humour, sharing countless crazy escapades together over the years (many of which would be deemed extremely politically incorrect by today’s standards). I really didn’t know what to say when I heard Ken had died, then I remembered the photo I’d taken of the tree in his garden that he’d trimmed to the shape of a heart. The first time I saw it in bloom, I thought it was a fake but on checking, discovered it to be the real thing. Ken too, was the real thing. Ken was an inveterate smoker, imbiber of Strongbow, total Luddite concerning anything vaguely resembling a computer but great with a barbecue. He was also my greatest friend and I shall miss our gambling, shooting and explosives sessions!”
Thanks to Peter for these photos.

Our condolences go out to his wife Pauline and all the rest of the family.

While looking for Roger Hall covers I started re-scanning his PAN titles and amongst them was ‘The Mysterious Affair At Styles’ by Agatha Christie. As I am now putting in cross links I noticed that this one title has at least three of PAN’s eclectic numbers plus an ISBN. It appeared as 310, G112, X284 and 0330 102842 with the same artwork being used on several editions.

While talking about motorway services, as you do, and how bad they are generally I have to say I do like two, namely Tebay on the M6 and Beaconsfield on the M40 because they are friendly and welcoming unlike most, they both have a lake plus Beaconsfield is the only services with a Wetherspoons! It was while mentioning Beaconsfield I remembered that is was the birthplace of the late great Sir Terence David John Pratchett OBE and also Piers Paul Read of whom PAN published 12 of his titles. I have scanned in a page of them and they can be found HERE

Disclaimer: Other services with lakes are available and any opinions expressed are purely those of the author. I wouldn’t dare say something so controversial on Facebook!

Finally take care and ‘stay safe’ and apparently ‘stay alert’ whatever that means?

‘SHELDON’, Chitty and Ambrosia and a ‘Nothing to do with PAN!’

There have been a couple of mentions of Louis Shabner in past blogs who was better known as the artist who signed just as ‘Sheldon’ (not to be confused with Harry Sheldon) on over 20 PAN covers. I noticed a calendar on eBay for 1978 with a picture of ‘Miss Felco’ on it and signed by Louis Shabner and as the price wasn’t too extortionate I bought it as I certainly can’t afford a ‘real’ painting of his at current prices. It looked very nice hanging in the ‘library’ but as it had been used it was short of one thing, the tear of months so with the help of ‘Publisher’ it now has a token month added. I would love to know who Miss Felco actually was?

I did some research on ‘Felco Hoists Ltd’ as I like a challenge and it turns out to be one of those weird coincidences. It was originally based in London, got bought out by Birfield in the early 60’s, taken over by GKN in 1967 and finally acquired by Wheway Watson Ltd. before disappearing in 1990. What is weird is that Wheway Watson Ltd was not a million miles from me and I must have passed it going to and from work in the 80’s but I can’t picture it! 

While on the ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Collectors’ Facebook page I noticed someone had put on a photo of the Chitty/Ambrosia badges which were awarded at promotions and to all entrants to their competition. I had thought it was a colouring competition but turns out it’s ‘Spot The Difference’ on the tins. Dave Hinett of the Facebook group very kindly scanned in a page of details of the promotion which also shows the prizes including 40,000 copies of the book written by John Burke. I have added a few press cuttings and some photos of the ‘first prize’ at the Ambrosia factory etc. which can been seen HERE. I would love to know if the winner chose the car or the cash?

Nothing to do with PAN but I thought it was a bit spooky when looking through the 30th June 1984 edition of ‘Personal Computer News’ as you do and noticed this illustration from an article on a flight simulator programme!