The author of this peculiar character, who has known how to grow old without seeing a single wrinkle, reveals some of the secrets that have made more than one and more than two literally leave their sight in their books.
How many of us are struck by the nostalgic fiber when we see this nice boy appear from between the corners? And it is that Wally has been stealing hearts and adding diopters to thousands and thousands of followers for a few years now , nothing more and nothing less than since its creator, illustrator Martin Handford, gave him up for inventing it, in those wonderful years 80.
What do we know about Mr. Handford?
We know he is from Hampstead, England, who first saw the light of day on September 27, back in ’56, and has spent half his life drawing Wally, a lanky guy with glasses, wearing a striped sweater, a cowboy and a cap with tassel. Where is Wally?
Starting in ’87, Handford produced a total of six major books , although the character appeared in many other supports; pillows, posters, video games, hobbies and many others. There was even a comic strip and an animated series about the character.
Wally was joined by other characters , no less interesting, who accompanied him on his adventures “around the world” such as; the Whitebeard Magician, Wenda, (a girl who dressed similar to him) and, by Odlaw , a kind of bad guy from the story dressed in black and yellow. Wally’s books were edited in Hong Kong and published by Candlewick Press in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
But apart from all this information that we bring you as a general culture, the fundamental thing of his work , in the opinion of this artist, is “the didactic nature of books, and how they help children to sharpen their visual perception”
All this info seems very good to us, but since we are a little geeks, and in case all this had known to you little, we have taken the trouble to delve a little more into the ins and outs of our friend Google, and we have brought you 8 curiosities about this prodigious character and its creator. Cool, huh !!
1. They both like pop music, history, and the crowd
His appearance is distinguished by owl glasses, a big smile and his knit cap with a red pompom. He hardly ever speaks and does little in life, but he wanders and gets lost in the crowds. Both Creator and character share a similar personality; elusive, history and travel lovers, and a little carefree. We could say that wally is Handford’s alter ego in the imaginary world.
2. It takes 8 weeks for the author to illustrate each scene
Nothing more and nothing less than 8 weeks is what it takes Handford to illustrate each of the meticulous scenes that make up his books, we better not do the math!
According to Handford, all you have to do is look at a photo and find Wally . At first glance it seems like an easy task : He wears huge glasses, a red and white striped sweater, a wool hat, and uses a cane as a traveling companion. And yet, finding Wally is an industry worth hundreds of millions , with some 55 million sales of books , countless games and mobile apps.
3. In the United States they call him Waldo
In order not to confuse him with “Wallis Simpson”, who married King Edward VIII, (after he abdicated the throne of England for her), they decided to put a variant of his name that came as a ring to his finger, giving his appearance, a touch a bit light-hearted and nerdy.
4. Wally fans live in more than 20 countries
More than six books made the character famous , and they continued over the years, sparking a series of spin-offs with Wally’s friends. The books were translated into more than 30 languages!