Today we pay a return visit to the world gone wrong as conceived by the twisted intellects at Dainty Productions. Fault finders everywhere can pit their wits against the masters of misinformation. I’m going to risk my reputation by suggesting that the white jet of steam in the centre of No. 22 should be shown escaping from the cylinder at the front of the locomotive. There’s no such easy resolution to No. 20 where a young woman transforms a ball of wool into a fetching sock for the man in her life. Should we be looking closely at the knitting needles for a technical anomaly or, more troubling, are we facing a moral defect indicated by the stiletto heels or the seductive sheen on the nylons?
There are limits to how much time can be spent staring at a coal scuttle but there are other pleasures to be taken from these pictures. I have an incurable fondness for the ligne claire style in which these images have been transcribed. It is the perfect genre for describing a universe of orderly disposition in which is concealed a single but shocking flaw. The purest form of ligne claire is to be found in the drawing of Hergé but there are many other anonymous practitioners. Angela Banner’s Ant & Bee books are illustrated in this idiom to great effect by Bryan Ward. At their best they possess a charge out of all proportion to their meagre storylines and modest intentions. More of Ant & Bee at a future time. To see an earlier trip to the world of Find the Fault please follow this link.