Cartoonist Reimagines ‘Where’s Waldo’ in the Age of Social Distancing

Where's Waldo Social Distancing Cartoon

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As a kid, the Where’s Waldo series of picture books presented a challenge even for the most eagle-eyed reader. Finding Waldo among seemingly countless people took intense concentration. But as adults in the midst of a pandemic with suggested social distancing (aka physical distancing), we now look at the book and its crowds in a different light. Tapping into this sentiment is cartoonist Clay Bennett. He created an illustration for the Chattanooga Times Free Press that he calls the “social distancing edition” of Where's Waldo. In his telling, there is only Waldo and four other people who are all keeping appropriate space between themselves. Discovering Waldo has never been so easy.

Doing our part to help slow the spread of the coronavirus has caused us to reexamine everyday interactions. Something as mundane as standing in a packed group of people is unheard of—for the moment. And after the physical distancing guidelines ease up, we’ll likely never view standing in a crowd in the same pre-coronavirus way. But it also provides the opportunity for gratitude; we can gather knowing that because so many of us stayed at home and took that distance, we can enjoy the close company of other people again.

Are you in need of more activities to keep you engaged and entertained while you stay indoors? Check out art challenges, free creative streaming services, and myriad other ways you can enrich yourself during isolation.

Clay Bennett: Twitter

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photo by Clay Bennett. 

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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