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Olivia Walch

Olivia Walch

I am a rising senior at the College of William and Mary, studying math and biophysics, and a cartoonist for the student newspaper, 'The Flat Hat.' When not at school, I'm home with my family in Fairfax Station, Va., loafing. ALL POSTS

Imogen Quest - Entry Challenge

See Olivia Walch's entry, read what the judges had to say, and see Olivia's reaction, below.

Jerry Scott: "Olivia's panel is really current and smart. Her ideas are fresh and funny, and the drawings are consistent and likable. I'd like to know how she got to be this good at such an early age! Three of the multi-panel strips in this submission would be very hard to make out without the aid of a magnifying glass on a typical newspaper page today. That would be something for Olivia to consider addressing if she's interested in traditional newspaper syndication."

Stephan Pastis: "There's a cleverness and originality to it that just jumps off the page.The burial of the family pet strip is one I wish I'd thought of. Very smart humor that is brave enough to be deadpan and not telegraph jokes."

Signe Wilkinson: Olivia Walch's first one -- 'She's had work done' -- was my favorite cartoon [of all the finalist samples]. ... She's in the 'Rhymes W[th Orange' vein with a primitive style that, unfortunately, isn't as distinctly primitive as Hilary Price's."

Hilary Price: "I like the intellectual subjects Olivia explores, and felt like even if I was not familiar with classic story or reference, I was then curious to look it up. It think it is Olivia's writing skills that make this true. I was glad to see that while her characters mostly used dots for eyes, she was willing to change it up in one of the strips in order to show an emotion. Eyes are an important tool in creating emotion and I would want her to have that available in her cartoonist tool box."

Gene Weingarten: "I respect this for its surrealist edge, and I like the drawing, which seems like 'Rhymes With Orange' on hallucinogens. I like the out-of-box thinking. But I am seriously worried by that dead-Fluffy-as-a-password gag. ... If the joke is original, then so is she, and I'm impressed."

"I've had a really great experience with the competition so far and am incredibly thankful for all the fantastic feedback I've received. The judges' critiques were very helpful and have convinced my younger brother (both of us being big fans of their cartoons) that I am cool for the first time in about a decade. One quick note: The joke with the Hesiod cartoon is that Hesiod is wearing a Roman toga when, as a Greek, he would in fact be far more likely to wear a chiton. Sorry for any confusion on that front!"


By Olivia Walch  |  June 14, 2010; 1:48 PM ET  | Category:  Cartoonists' reactions , Entries , Gene Weingarten , Hilary Price , Jerry Scott , Signe Wilkinson , Stephan Pastis
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Far and away my favorite.

Posted by: dkp01 | July 5, 2010 10:42 PM
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She's one of the top two for me with the castaway piece alone -- very witty -- lots of variety.

Posted by: weareone | July 5, 2010 6:38 PM
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The only finalist to make me laugh out loud, and she did so TWICE. The best, by a healthy margin.

Posted by: ryanem1 | July 5, 2010 7:55 AM
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not funny please dont pick this one please im begging donttttt

Posted by: whiteside595 | July 4, 2010 9:13 PM
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this is the worst of the bunch when you first look at it its like what is this it does not catch your eye at all its like your trying to figure it out terrible

Posted by: whiteside595 | July 4, 2010 9:09 PM
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Pick of the litter. No question.

Posted by: OttoDog | July 4, 2010 9:07 PM
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best of the bunch -- choose this one.

Posted by: mj64 | July 4, 2010 8:21 PM
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Posted by: whiteside595 | July 1, 2010 7:34 PM
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I want to marry her. She makes me laugh.

Posted by: crgrbrts | July 1, 2010 10:22 AM
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Adding my voice to the pile.

Hers are the most thoughtful, interesting, and witty -- and I love her style, which I expect will develop as she gets older.

Posted by: brickerd | July 1, 2010 10:09 AM
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Love it love it. "By Whom is First Base Occupied?"


Posted by: bupdaddy | July 1, 2010 7:53 AM
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Can we just start over? Remake the entire Post comics page with Olivia (at the top), Doonesbury, Dilbert, Weingarten, and a few others at nice, large scale. Save a slot to reprint an identical Judge Parker every day—no one will notice it doesn't change. Resume printing Roger Lewis's Shaping the City cartoons at full size while you're at it. For anyone who misses all the other stuff, perhaps you can provide a free link to the Akron Beacon Journal.

Better yet, put Olivia on the front page—until another Watergate or John Philip Sousa comes along, she could be the last best chance to save the Post.

Posted by: rlma | June 30, 2010 1:57 PM
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Walch's humor is clever and original, as is her style. By far the best of the bunch.

Posted by: clafount | June 29, 2010 1:29 PM
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All of these strips are great. They're not just better than the other contestants; they're better than most of current comics the Post publishes.

Posted by: JohninMpls | June 24, 2010 11:42 AM
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You don't really need to know who Hesiod is to appreciate the humour. The concept is brilliant and the joke basically explains itself.

Regardless, the other puns are so cleverly crafted that I doubt any of the other cartoonists would have come anywhere close to making them funny, given the same subject matter. The last thing the funnies need is another anthropomorphic animal cracking the same lasagna joke week after week. I really hope Olivia wins.

Posted by: Rockinrower | June 24, 2010 5:23 AM
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olivia's on fire!
great job.
i hope she wins.

Posted by: garrixtoonz | June 23, 2010 9:24 PM
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I like this! All the strips are smart and clever, but approachable. It would be the first cartoon I would try to find, because I would always want to see Olivia's unusual and hilarious approach. Olivia, you're great! Keep doing what you do!

Posted by: cyb1851 | June 23, 2010 10:35 AM
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This one got my vote. It's the best of the ten: smart, original, well drawn. The different drawing styles and content show great versatility--from "Muffin" to Hume. Nice, very nice!

Posted by: JerseyGirl53 | June 22, 2010 8:05 AM
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it's fabulous, the who's on first? omG! but will it fit in with the other Post comics? I'd like to think so, but I'm not sure. I hope there is room for this one. But while it's nothing like Zippy or Six Chicks, those comics seemed to get voted out for being different and this is very different!
but it's so good, can we please have it anyway?

Posted by: Harise | June 21, 2010 5:07 PM
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One big reason to choose Walch is that she makes the greatest contrast with the "In Memoriam" theme dominating the comics page. I'm not just talking about strips by dead people, but strips in which nothing has happened since Judge Parker last heard a case.

Posted by: NorwegianBlue | June 21, 2010 3:08 PM
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Can someone please explain the Hesiod comic?

Posted by: a1048252 | June 21, 2010 1:55 PM
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Voted for this one, and agree with other posters that it's by far the most original, smart, and humorous of all the finalists. Contrary to RichardB4, I thought the changing style made it more appealing.

Unfortunately, smart and original probably won't win this contest. Middle-brow, unoffensive, and blessed by GW probably will. But a subscriber can dream...

Posted by: thingsfallapart | June 18, 2010 2:56 PM
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Anyone who references David Hume gets my vote.


Posted by: CenterD50 | June 18, 2010 12:38 AM
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Very original...maybe too origianl for a commercial comic strip. Loose the change of style for each strip. Readers like consistancy and want to be able to spot their favorites easily. Some of the humor is a little high-brow for the average newspaper reader, don't you think? "David Hume" I knew, but I had to look up "Hesiod".

Posted by: richardB4 | June 17, 2010 9:58 AM
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Imogen Quest is truly the BEST of the best--by far. The frames are well drawn with distinctive style, the ideas are all fresh, relevant, very creative and most importantly they are really, really, really funny. This entry is not only the smartest but also the most original entry in the Top 10. To the only women in the group of finalists, I have only one message: Olivia, your work is awesome, you go Girl!

Posted by: markythemarkster | June 16, 2010 6:55 PM
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Well drawn, but this isn't America's Next Great Artist Contest. The panels merit higher marks for avoiding the typical body function jokes, but I honestly don't get this humor and cleverness. To me, these are too clever by half. Based on the comments to date, I'm either alone, with a few whose accounts have been banned, or simply dim-witted; hence, don't change a thing!

Posted by: ekaf | June 16, 2010 6:05 PM
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FINALLY! A genuinely funny one in the bunch! This one is only keeper in the bunch.

Posted by: comicsfan666 | June 16, 2010 2:56 PM
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I think these cartoons are great! Funny, witty and so true, I also enjoy her style of art. The topics she picked I feel every one can relate to. Great Work Olivia!

Posted by: rusty19 | June 16, 2010 2:37 PM
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I think these cartoons are great! Funny, witty and so true, I also enjoy her style of art. The topics she picked I feel every one can relate to. Great Work Olivia!

Posted by: rusty19 | June 16, 2010 2:36 PM
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Winner winner, chicken dinner. It's obvious Olivia is the most original and clever of all the finalists.

If WaPo had more comics like this, I might actually pick up the Style section more often.

@ Olivia - You should look into animation. I can tell you're pretty handy with stills, but I think you'd have a knack for bringing these characters to life. For serious. I'll make the music for the animation and we'll pitch it to Cartoon Network. =P

Posted by: steampunk | June 16, 2010 2:05 PM
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"How I hated Hesiod". Funny. Of the five or so I've looked at so far, this one is my favorite.

Posted by: mikem1 | June 16, 2010 1:08 PM
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Now listen: This is far and away the funniest of all the entries. If this doesn't win, I would ask the artist to please email me a strip every day. I understand the judges focusing on character development and commercial promise, but let's not forget, humor might actually have something to do with this contest. Every single one of these was an original thought and hilarious. The worst of these is better than the best of any of the other entries. (Also great is how the artist chooses a different drawing style to fit each strip. Adds a strange bit of dry parody into the mix).

Posted by: ChrisDC | June 16, 2010 12:58 PM
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i'll vote for this. one, because its good and two because most of the others are so lame. was this really the top ten? yikes, no wonder this art form is dying. the humor here is personal and smart without being too smart (i get the hesiod joke without knowing who hesiod is), and its not the usual tepid, second rate tv sitcom humor. the drawing style is relaxed and economical, plus there's no talking animals. she even challenges the 3-4 panel format.(it's even better than my entry, which didn't even make the gallery slide show, but i'm not bitter).

Posted by: smadden1 | June 16, 2010 12:16 PM
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You guys kept the best for last.

This one has the lovely quirkiness in tone and artwork I liked in the Bob Erskine and Thomas Mullany one-panels, but the intelligence missing from Zachary Snyder's awkward-scientist.

This one's a keeper!

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | June 16, 2010 12:05 PM
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This is IMHO the most original of these.

Smart, original humor and style.

I'm liking this one more every time I read it.

In my top 3.

Posted by: InkSlingerz | June 16, 2010 11:34 AM
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This is great work! Intersting, original, and of course, funny.

Posted by: ieatsmallchildren | June 16, 2010 11:12 AM
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This one's a keeper. Distinctive and original, with lots of turf to explore.

I understand the concern about the tininess of the double-layer strips, but don't share it. I find them refreshing and fun and they open up possibilities you can't get in a three-box panel.

Posted by: MsJS | June 16, 2010 10:33 AM
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