Thunderball | Pan | X201

Thunderball | Pan | X201. This artwork was used for the 1st through to 12th editions
This artwork was used for the 1st through to 12th editions

09. Thunderball

Author : Ian Fleming
Publisher : Pan / Great Pan
Format : Paperback
Series : Pan Hawkey series
Edition : 1st through 12th
Year : 1963 (first published with this artwork)
Country published : UK
Artwork designer : Raymond Hawkey

General Notes

​In 1963 graphic designer (and novelist) Raymond Hawkey created a fresh new look for the Bond novels. The uniform design with minimal graphics contrasted with the “painted” designs of the previous series. The consistent use of modern fonts helped the series have a uniform look as did having “JAMES BOND” in large bold text at the top of each book. Elements of this design can be found in the Pan “Model” series of the 1970s and in the Panther / Triad series of the 1980s.

Millions of copies of the Bond paperbacks were printed in the “Hawkey” series and for many is the definitive paperback series, indeed for many people of a “certain age” it was their introduction to reading James Bond novels.

Thunderball is the only book in the series where Hawkey is credited (Cover design by Raymond Hawkey) so it is possible Pan staff laid out some of the other designs. The majority of the books were released with Hawkey designs in 1963 but the timing of the film releases of Dr No and From Russia With Love means that the “Movie Tie In” editions were published first. This pushed the release of the Hawkey cover versions of these titles out to 1964/65 and means they are less common than the others. It is probable however that these covers were designed at the same time as the others as early / prototype editions have been found.


Editions and pricing variants found with this artwork

​The cover design for Thunderball with “bullet” holes in the cover is the most simple and perhaps the best of the series. As Thunderball was first released in paperback with this cover (at a time when Bond books were hugely popular (helped by the first two films) it was printed in huge numbers. With 12 printings and well over 1 million copies sold copies are still plentiful.

The following printings / pricing variants with this artwork have been found in our collections. Note all printings have X201 to the front cover and spine.

1st printing 1963. Copies found with;

2nd printing 1963. Copies found with;

3rd printing 1963. Copies found with;

4th printing 1963. Copies found with;

5th printing 1963. Copies found with;

6th printing 1964. Copies found with;

7th printing 1964. Copies found with;

8th printing 1964. Copies found with;

9th printing 1964. Copies found with;

10th printing 1964. Copies found with;

11th printing 1965. Copies found with;

12th printing 1965. Copies found with;


Collectors notes

As all 14 bond books were published in this uniform series and copies are plentiful they make an ideal first set of books for the new collector.

From Thunderball onwards the 1st Pan printings were in this Hawkey series, surprisingly On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 1st Pan edition is perhaps the most difficult to find / most valuable of all the Pan paperbacks (especially without any price to the front). The main reason for this is that the 1st four printings were export only.

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