British author and illustrator Martin Handford created his world-renowned series of cartoon puzzle books in 1986. The Where’s Wally? books were later published in America under the name of Where’s Waldo. No matter where in the world they were published, or in what language, the Where’s Waldo book were incredibly popular, inspiring fan art works of the main character Waldo. One form of Where’s Waldo fan art takes the form of Where’s Waldo tattoos.
Where can you find a Where’s Waldo Tattoo?
The Where’s Waldo series of books focuses on the main character, Waldo, who hides in crowds of people and urbanscapes or landscapes. In early books, Waldo is alone, but in later books he has a dog and two friends, an arch enemy and several objects that he loses all over the place. His arch enemy is called Odlaw, which is Waldo spelled backwards. While Waldo wears friendly red, white and blue colors, Odlaw is dressed in a sinister black and yellow combination.
All of these additional characters and objects “hide” in the illustrations, waiting to be found by searching readers. While the books teach patience and determination, children are entertained by the humorous antics of the characters in the scenes. The scenes are so busy that sometimes it takes the artist, Martin Handford, up to eight weeks to complete a double page spread.
Waldo has had dozens of names. Each time that the books are published in a new country, Waldo gets a new name. In Estonia, Wally is known as Volli, and in France he is called Charlie. Germans know him as Walter and the Norwegians call him Willy. Although the character remains the same, his name is changed in each region to endear the character to local readers. It is a marketing technique that has had enormous success. Children who puzzled over the Waldo books in the 80s have grown up to wear tattoos of the mystery man. Their adoration of Waldo is the same, no matter what name they know him by.
Where’s Waldo tattoos are among the most fun, humorous and surprising tattoo designs, especially when someone wears a tattoo of Wally in an unexpected place. Waldo tattoos can be placed so that it appears that Waldo is waving from the top of a person’s sock or waistband. For the brave, Waldo tattoos can be placed along the hair line or behind the ear, or, for the very brave, inside the mouth.
The humor of Where’s Waldo tattoos lies largely in the placement. A serious tattoo of skulls and flowers might reveal Waldo peeking out from between the skulls jaws, or out of an eye socket. The surprise of suddenly discovering Waldo on someone’s body is priceless.
Where’s Waldo Tattoos Hide in Plain View
Waldo’s female friend Wilma was introduced in the Ultimate Fun Book but was later replaced by Wenda, her twin sister. Wenda is dressed in a similar manner to Waldo, with a skirt instead of pants. Waldo’s other friend, the Wizard Whitebeard, has a long white beard that makes him fairly easy to find. Woof was initially Wenda’s dog, and in the beginning he was very shy. At first all you could find of Woof was his tail, but at the end of The Wonder Book, Woof reveals himself entirely to readers. Of all the Where’s Waldo characters, Waldo is the most popular choice for tattoo designs.
A Where’s Waldo tattoo can be a simple color tattoo of the Waldo character, or the design can be much busier. In a few cases, entire scenes from the Where’s Waldo books have been tattooed onto large area of skin like the back or chest. If a whole Where’s Waldo puzzle isn’t your style, perhaps consider getting a tattoo of Waldo in a clever position, or for something more unique, tattoos of the various characters peeking out from behind other tattoos.
You can play the Where’s Waldo puzzles online here.