Where's Wally the Spectacular by Martin Handford


Where's Wally the Spectacular by Martin Handford

About the Author

Martin Handford

Martin Handford published his first Where's Wally? book in 1987. 25 years later, his books have become a multi-million-selling, global success. Martin spent much of his childhood watching cinema epics and playing with toy soldiers which inspired him to draw scenes teeming with characters and action. At Art College he learned the craft of illustration developing a vibrantly colourful style which lost little when printed. As a freelance illustrator his witty, engaging images proved popular with numerous clients but his narrative strength came to the fore when Sebastian Walker offered him the opportunity to pour his imagination into a book. Now dedicated to Wally, Martin gathers his inspiration from a huge variety of sources including films; visiting museums and art galleries; reading comics and books; and collecting ephemera and trivia. He continues to be fascinated by crowds: their vibrancy, pattern, and range of detail and humour provide him with limitless source material: "I love their movement and energy." He is also constantly on the look-out for puns and wordplay to use in his pictures. Gradually, from all of this meticulous research, astonishing craft and patience his unique scenes are created. A picture takes Martin many months to draw, with Wally added "when I come to what I feel is a good place to hide him," he explains.

Some Where's Wally? Facts:

Where’s Wally? is a publishing phenomenon! Over 56 million copies have been sold worldwide encompassing more than 30 languages in 38 countries.

Where’s Wally? held the record for the fastest selling children’s book of all time (until Harry Potter).

Where’s Wally? has been Number 1 on the New York Times Bestsellers List three times.

Across the globe, Wally has different names. In the United states Where’s Wally? is Where’s Waldo? and in France, Où Est Charlie?

5.6 million iPhone and iPad Where’s Wally? apps have been sold.

Wally has 3.9 million ‘Likes’ on Facebook.

Wally has reached celebrity status! He has appeared in the primetime American TV shows Frasier, The Simpsons and Friends; on the 1000th anniversary cover of Rolling Stone magazine as a cultural icon of the last 40 years; and on Google Earth.

Fans love to dress up as Wally. The official Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as Wally? was set by Street Performance World Championship in June 2011: 3,872 people took to the streets of Dublin, Ireland, in a sea of red and white stripes.

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Martin Handford
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Publication date

3rd February 2011



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