This is the blog for website www.tikit.net a site for all those interested in the Golden Age of PAN Paperbacks, from 1945 to about the 1970’s. It originally started as a challenge to get at least one copy of the quirkily numbered PAN titles but has grown to include later ones with ISBNs or possibly part of a series or just because I like the cover. You may even find some covers from rival publishers if they took my fancy. It’s my site so I’ve decided I can change the rules a I go along!
Hi I am enquiring on behalf of my father in law, George Bath as to the availability of 1st edition pan books from 1947 – 1950. Please can you let me know. Many thanks.
Hi Avril, I have sent you an email with a few suggestions. Cheers, Tim
I started work at Pan Books in 1978 as a lowly Production Assistant, then graduated to Cover Controller. I used to spend a lot of time in that dusty basement with all,of those old artworks. Some of them were still reprinted in my day. I used to work with Stan Boswarva, Ken Hatherley in the art department, Dennis Crutcher and David Bleasdale were my bosses. Lots of other lovely people and some I was a bit scared off…..
Hi Lyn, Thank you for getting in touch, that sounds like a great job apart from being a basement. I’ve sent you an email as I’d love to ask you a few questions. Cheers, Tim
Happy to help with whatever I can. Don’t forget, I was practicaly the lowest of the low there but it was a great place to work back in the day!
Hi Lyn, Isn’t it the lowest of the low who are the ones that actually do some work of value? Cheers, Tim
I like to think so!
Hi – You ask for more info on Pan cover artists. My interests are with 1950s cover artists and I believe that the 1951 edition of Zane Gray’s “Forlorn River” (Pan 175) is by James E McConnell. I currently have details of about 500 covers he did. Best wishes, Rog Peyton
Hi Rog, AS comments seems a bit ‘iffy’ at the moment I’ve sent an email. Cheers, Tim
Hello, Your website mentioned Peter McGinn formerly of Edinburgh and now living in Sarasota, Florida. I would like to contact Peter about Tom Curr, Captain of the 46th Company of Edinburgh Boys’ Brigade. I am writing Tom’s biography – more a cultural history – but another ex-BB member has told me that a painting by Tom of a drummer boy is of Peter. Please can you help?
Hi Sandy, I have sent an email. Tim
books `n` bits is a recently opened shop in horley surrey. i have a collection of about 800 pan paperbacks from no.1 to about x600 which is about 20 years. included in this collection are many of the fleming titles. please contact me if this is any use to you in any way. regards john
Hi John, Many thanks for the offer, I’ve sent you an email about these. Cheers, Tim
Hi Tim, Have just discovered your site. Thought you might be interested to know something about the team who produced the Pan covers at 8 Headfort Place in the 1960s. I was the chief blurb writer there from January 1962 to November 1964, having moved to Pan from Panther. I wrote about two-thirds of the front and back cover copy, Simon Bott, Alan Bott’s son, the other third. I shared a small office with Stan Boswarva, who co-ordinated copy, artwork, design and lettering. (Bos, as he was always known, was a heavy smoker – 60 a day – and in those smoking-OK days and that confined fug-filled space I, a non-smoker, became a passive one for nearly three years.) Bos was answerable to the editorial director, Clarence Paget (of whose judgement in every aspect of paperback publishing the whole team had a low opinion, to put it politely).
Once the copy was written Bos would get the artists’ agent Tony Bowen-Davies in to commission one of his artists to produce the cover painting. When copy and artwork were ready for several books, Edward Young (who you know of as the man who designed the Penguin logo and as a war hero who wrote the 1000th Pan, One of Our Submarines) would come in to discuss them and take copies away to design the front and back covers. Finally, a lettering artist (we’re talking pre-Letraset days) would inscribe title and author for the front cover panel.
A few of the Raymond Hawkey Bond cover designs were realised and photographed in the office. For On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, for example, table salt was used for the snow, red ink for the blood and Bos’s wedding ring for the ring.
All of the people I knew at Pan in those days that I have been able to track down are now dead: the chairman Aubrey Forshaw; his son, Simon Master, who was learning the ropes there and went on to become a big cheese at Random House; Clarence Paget; Simon Bott; Bos; Tony Bowen-Davies; Edward Young; Paul Chevalier, the PR man, whose novel I Can See You But You Can’t See Me was published by Pan under his pseudonym Eugene George, his middle two names; sales director Ralph Vernon-Hunt, who posed for a cover Bond; export manager Robin Neillands, later to become a military historian; and no doubt others.
I left Pan to join an American publishing company, the Greystone Corporation. Six months later Pan asked me to return, at a much higher salary, because they were dissatisfied with my successor. I turned down the offer. They say copywriters at ad agencies are burned out after a year. After three years of constantly trying to think of new selling approaches for books I didn’t have any more blurbs left in me.
Hi Tony, Lovely to hear from you and with all that fantastic information. I’ve sent you an email, hope you get it. Tim
My uncle was Geoffrey Hedger-Wallace who wrote ‘End Quiet War ‘ I don’t know a lot about him as I only met him a few times ! He was one of two children born to Alexandra A R hedger-Wallace who had two children as a single parent in the late 1920’s !!! and my mum was fostered and Geoff was raised by his aunt. He never married but was well traveled and did lots of theatre , knitting pattern covers and tv work – famous in our family for being killed in first ten mins of most films !!! It seems you have a copy of his book and the contract ? I would be interested I seeing a copy !of the contract … I believe I have a signed copy of the book somewhere but would be interested in finding out more about him ?
Hi Belinda. Always pleased to get comments and I have to say the reference to the late Mr Hedger-Wallace seems to be of family interest as I’ve also had ones from both Robin Chappell and Emily Chappell. You probably know more about him than I do as my initial interest was through the PAN edition of the book and then buying some bits and pieces off eBay. It was just a coincidence that I had been talking to Paul, the artist who did the book cover, before I knew who Geoffrey was. I’ll look out the contract and scan it all for you as I only put a section on the webpage. Keep in touch, Tim PS I’ll have to see if I can find a knitting pattern where he modelled like Roger Moore I believe.
Hi, I am trying to find an email address to contact you about some covers, can you please help?
Hi Emily, I’ve emailed you. Cheers, Tim
I was the promotions copywriter at Pan (at Cavaye Place) from 1979-1984. Easily the best company I worked for.
Hi Simon, I’ve sent you an email so hopefully we can keep in touch. Cheers, Tim
I remember you Simon Wood – I was the lowly production assistant, later Cover Controller Lyn Kirby
Hi Lyn, I know Simon reads this blog so hopefully he’ll respond. Cheers, Tim
Just bought a bunch of very nice condition 1940s Pan books (£1 each for 20 of them from a local charity shop) and thanks for this site which provides useful reference and cataloguing information
As an aside my brother Craig and I attended the World Horror Convention in Brighton in 2010,my brother having written a story for Pan Horror way back in the late 70s. He was on a panel with many of the other authors and they discussed the publishing quirks of Pan, and especially of Herbert Van Thal, the editor. There’s a picture of my brother and some of the other authors and a little bit about the panel here: http://www.christopherfowler.co.uk/blog/2010/03/29/pan-fans-gather-in-brighton/
Hi Scott, Wow, you found a charity shop that still sells ‘old’ books, they seem very few and far between these days. I hope you enjoyed the convention in 2010, I know Johnny Mains (a friend of quite a long time) put in a lot of work to get it up and running and I’m not surprised van Thal got a mention after Johnny wrote Herbert’s biography. Keep visiting, Cheers, Tim.
Is this site still active? I have about 300 of the first pan series up to no 443 and a similar amount of great Pans up to GP416, some multiple copies.
Hi Chris, Site still active? Very much so as I try to update the blog every Monday. I’m also busy behind the scenes as it were rescanning covers such as the 5 I mention in this weeks blog. With 7,000 plus covers you may not always find one newly scanned at 3 times the original size when hosting was such a phenomenal price so they couldn’t be too big. You say you have several hundred covers, are you a collector or looking to sell? Now is not a good time as the prices are right down, I sold hundreds of duplicates on at 25p to a bookshop that was charging 50p. Keep in touch, Tim
Just found G410 from 1964 with the cover used on X615. Had you known about this second edition G410?
Hi Peter, No I didn’t know about that, any chance of a scan so I can add it to the site? Cheers, Tim
Is there a scan of the pan dust jackets available. I am sure I have seen one but have lost the link.
HI Peter, Here is the link you want http://www.tikit.net/Later%202/Dustjackets.htm Hope this helps, Tim
Is it possible to list/find the actual dates that the cover alters for eg the Bond series.
This would save the frustration of buying a copy of say Dr No only to find that an earlier publication date exists for that particular cover.
HI Peter, I’ve replied by email but ‘Yes’ it would be a good idea and one I hope to get around to one day – honestly! Cheers, Tim
A wonderful site and blog, very interesting and useful. I adore the older covers.
Keep posting, congrats.
Hi Bart, Many thanks for the kind words. I love the older covers as well and I think a couple may have come from Redu Booktown although a lot more came from Bredevoort. Keep visiting and I’ll keep posting. All the best, Tim
Love the blog and the main site. I’ve also recently started collecting Pan Books initially only collecting the early James Bond titles but I’ve been drawn in by the wonderful artwork and it’s become quite an obsession now. I now started collecting lots of the war stories, thrillers, Saint books and other genres and I’m enjoying reading them too although I’m buying them far quicker than I can actually read them. I’m actually having to reign myself in from spending far too much than I would like as I keep seeing lots of wonderful covers on eBay. Keep up the great work on this blog and site, it’s a great reference point for us ‘newbie’ collectors.
Hi Jeremy, Many thanks for the kind words, they are what keeps me going. Visit regularly so I’ve an incentive to keep adding to the blog. All the best, Tim
Sorry meant G387
Hi Peter, Thanks for spotting that. It is partly down to me being a bit slipshod and not always using the same letter case for pictures names and hyperlinks as when I was on a Windows server it wasn’t case sensitive but since I’ve move over to a Linux server it is. I’ve fixed this link and a couple of others I spotted so hope you can now see what you were after. I was pleased with G387 as I made ‘hot spots’ on the back cover to the other titles. If you find any more duff links pleased let me know, Cheers, Tim
cannot link to G237 to see cover
Would you be able to help me? I run a fantasy film festival – Fantastiq – taking place in Derby from August 9-11 this year. I wish to investigate using one of Val Biro’s covers as the basis for our poster ident – the Second Ghost Stories image. I’d like to contact him and hoped you might be able to put me in touch, or forward an email.
Congratulations on the site.
Hi Tony, I have contacted you directly with details that I hope will help. Cheers, Tim
PS Thanks for liking the site.
PPS If you do get to use the artwork for a poster is there any chance of a copy?
Am interested to see how this website grows. I came to Pan’s via Fleming and love the look of the older covers. I also like a lot of the cover art form this era. If you want any scans of my limited collection I’d be happy to oblige when I have the time.
Hi, It’s always nice to get a comment from someone who has found the site as I do it just as a hobby. Am I right in assuming you found the blog via a search as it seems you’ve not found the main site namely http://www.tikit.net? Like you I came to PANs through Fleming and most of the PAN covers are on the site but the search can miss some of them as I changed from a Windows server to a Linux one last year and while the Windows was not case sensitive the Linux is. I am correcting links as I find them or if people tell me when they find one. Keep in touch, Tim
just started to collect the James Bond series and found this site. I think its brilliant having the information about the variations on the different covers eg priced printed or not printed etc.On one of the bond covers you circle a spot the difference I cannot “spot the difference”?
Can we have a page possibly dedicated to just James Bond with all variations.
Do you know what are the best covers to protect these books?
too many questions………
thank you John
I have be in touch directly with John and hopefully answered all his questions. TK
in sydney.have flemings 201 232 233 234 235 238 well read any good ?
Hello Barbara, It sounds like these are the ones with the Raymond Hawkey style covers which unfortunately are amongst the most common editions and go for very little money even when in really good condition. Thanks for taking the time to let me know and I’m sorry I can’t be more positive but keep in touch. All the best, Tim