- Martin Handford
Martin Handford Born 1956 (age 54–55)
Occupation Children's Author and Illustrator Signature
Martin Handford (born 1956 in Hampstead, London) is an English children's author and illustrator who gained worldwide fame in the mid-1980s with his Where's Wally? creation (known as Where's Waldo? in North America).
Handford began drawing as a child, making stick figures on paper. His inspiration to draw such figures came from classic films and the toy soldiers he played with during that era.
As an adult, Handford worked for three years in an insurance office to pay for his degree at art college. After graduating, Martin worked as a freelance illustrator specialising in drawing crowd scenes for numerous clients.
In 1986, Handford was asked by his art director at Walker Books to draw a character with peculiar features so that his pictures of crowd had a focal point. After much thinking, he came up with the idea of "Wally", a world traveller and time travel aficionado who always dresses in red and white. Wally was joined on most of his travels by a girlfriend who wore clothes with the same colours as Wally's, and by an evil character named Odlaw (Waldo spelled backwards) who dresses in yellow and black.
Handford became a minor celebrity with the success of Where's Wally?. The Where's Wally? trademark sold in 28 different countries. Beginning in 1987, Handford produced a total of six "classic" Where's Wally? books, but his character was branched out into other products, such as notebooks, pillows, posters, video games and many others. There was even a syndicated comic strip as well as an animated TV series.
Handford is a methodical and diligent worker. Sometimes it would take him up to eight weeks to draw a two-page sketch of the equally reclusive "Wally" and the characters surrounding him.
The Where's Wally? books were published in the UK by Walker Books and in the US under the title Where's Waldo? first by Little, Brown and Company before being taken on by Candlewick Press (Walker Books' American subsidiary publishing company). The first four titles were originally printed in Italy, but later reprinted in China.
- ^ a b c "Interview with Martin Handford", Scholastic Book Club. Retrieved 7 Feb 2010.
- ^ "Up Against the Waldo", by Cyndi Stivers, 14 December 1990, Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 8 Feb 2010.
- ^ "Where's Wally founder tracks down a fortune", Fiona Walsh, The Guardian, 22 January 2007. Retrieved 7 Feb 2010.
Where's Wally? Books
Where's Wally? · Where's Wally Now? · The Fantastic Journey · The Ultimate Fun Book · The Magnificent Poster Book! · Where's Wally in Hollywood? · The Wonder Book · Plundering Pirates · Fighting Knights · The Great Picture Hunt · The Incredible Paper Chase · The Spectacular Poster Book
The Truly Terrific Activity Book · The Absolutely Amazing Activity Book · The Wildly Wonderful Activity Book · The Simply Sensational Activity Book · The Rally Remarkable Activity Book · The Completely Crazy Activity Book
The Fabulous Flying Carpets Sticker Book ·The Dazzling Deep Sea Divers Sticker Book
Box sets and collections
Bumper Activity Book · Box Set · The Completely Cool Collection · The Magnificent Mini Collection · The Solid Gold Collection · The Ultimate Travel Collection ·The Magnificent Mini Box Set
TV seriesEpisodes · Videos Other CharactersWally · Wizard Whitebeard · Wilma · Wenda · Woof · Odlaw · The "secret person" · The Wally watchers
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