Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Book Review: Where’s Waldo? by M. Handford

Popular in the 1990s, the Where’s Waldo? (WW?) books were a pop culture phenomenon as the world rose up, shook it’s collective fist at the sky and cried out with one unified voice “WHERE’S THAT BLASTED WALDO?” A pure source of frustration and strained retinas, WW? is in essence a large illustrated book wherein the main character Waldo is hidden amongst huge populations of humanoid cartoons. It is the reader’s job to scan this mass of humanity until Waldo is located, the page may then be turned and the process begins again with a whole new bevy of generic unimportant people.

Little is known about Waldo himself, he is obviously fond of wearing the same outfit everywhere, everyday. He wears glasses and always seems to be aware that he is being searched for because he’s always looking at the reader. Some have theorized that the truth is that Waldo is not a human at all and that he was born on a distant planet called Waldezma. Whatever the case, Waldo has created an obsession for little boys and girls since 1987 with no signs of slowing down.

So what can be learned from this colorful book? The fact is that Where’s Waldo? is basically a training manual for future spy satellite technicians. Marketed to children because of it’s cartoony, innocent appearance, WW? is no doubt a government funded program aimed at embedding spying skills into children so that said skills can then be harvested once the children are grown. Although this could prove helpful to America’s cause, how easily could this dangerous material be placed into the wrong hands? WW? has been distributed to countless countries in countless languages, and that’s not even the scariest part…imagine if the these books were misplaced during the zombie uprising, it’s terrifying to think about. ‘Where’s Waldo’ also has the same acronym as ‘World War’…coincidence? I don’t think so.

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