Martin Handford

Martin Handford was born in Hampstead. He started drawing crowds when he was only 4 or 5 years old, and later as a child, making stick figures on paper. While other children would go play outside, Martin would draw pictures instead.

As an adult, he worked for three years in an insurance office, so he could pay for his degree at art college. He studied art at UCA in Maidstone, Kent. After he graduated, he worked as a freelance illustrator specialising in drawing crowd scenes for clients.

Martin created the album cover for The Vapors’ 1981 album – Magnetics.

In 1986, Martin created the character ‘Wally’ as he was asked by his art director at Walker Books to draw a character with different features so that his pictures of crowds had a facial point. Wally is a world traveller and time travel aficionado who always dresses in the same red and white top. Wally is also joined on his travels with his friend, Wenda, who wears clothes that are the same colour as Wally. There is also an evil character called Odlaw (Waldo spelled backwards) who dresses in different – yellow and black.

Martin became a minor celebrity with the success of Where’s Wally. It would take him up to 8 weeks to draw one-two page sketch ‘Wally’ and the characters surrounding him. The character was branched out into other products such as notebooks, pillows, posters, video games and much more.

In 2007, Martin sold the rights to Where’s Wally? To the entertainment rights group, the world’s biggest independent owner of children’s brands. He is said to have made £2.5m in this sale.

Martin Handford Books

  1. Wheres Wally 6 Book Set Collection by Martin Handford - Full Collection

    LWP0275

    5-7

    Martin Handford

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    Where's Wally 6 Collection Martin Handford 6 Large Books Set Learn More
  2. Where's Wally Collection 6 Books Set Fantastic Journey and Great Picture Hunt

    LWP0275-1

    5-7

    Martin Handford

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    Description Where's Wally? An activity book that features Wally, along with his friends, who are fiendishly hidden in every scene. Where's Wally Now? Lost for thousands of year..... Learn More
  3. Wheres Wally Amazing Adventures and Activities Collection 8 Books Bag Set

    LWP9398

    5-7

    Martin Handford

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    Wheres Wally Amazing Adventures and Activities Learn More