In 1986, illustrator Martin Handford, a graduate of the University for the Creative Arts in Kent, was asked by his art director, David Bennett, at Walker Books in London to develop a book of detailed crowd scenes, inspired by Bennett having seen Philippe Dupasquier's Busy Places series. Whilst the book was being prepared for Bologna Book Fair, someone at Walker Books suggested the idea of adding a distinctive-looking character whom the reader could search for in the crowd scenes. After much thinking, Handford came up with the idea of "Wally", a world traveler and time travel aficionado who always dresses in red and white. Sometimes it would take him up to eight weeks to draw a two-page sketch of the elusive "Wally" and the characters surrounding him
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