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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: Winner!

Check out all of the contest materials from America's Next Great Cartoonist, Olivia Walch:

Video chat transcript: Watch a video of Olivia answering reader questions about her comic strip, cartooning and the contest.

See Olivia react to the news through photos and video.

Winner announcement: Va. student Olivia Walch named 'America's Next Great Cartoonist' in Post contest

Winner profile: Young 'America's Next Great Cartoonist' winner honed craft at Va. college paper

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!"

Hilary Price: "I am really excited by Olivia Walch's 'Imogen Quest.' I get that lovely surprise when the strip takes me off the beaten path of my usual thinking. I look forward to seeing her name in ink and encourage her to keep cartooning!"

Richard Thompson: "This Sunday is ingenious and funny, and pushes metahumor about as far as it can go. I like a comic strip that professes confusion at itself. The character sheet is similarly entertaining and meta, because I guess self-awareness is what a character sheet is all about."

Amy Lago: "While the gag makes sense for Post readers, many daily comics are now printed in color. So it wouldn't work for national syndication. Love the idea and its execution, though. Would have liked to see more characters on the character sheet. Like the 'about' paragraph, but then I'd lose some of the lesser stuff on the characters, such as the 'jealousy' line for Young Olivia and the ' a math and biophysics major in college' in Ophelia and Muffin."


By Olivia Walch  |  July 14, 2010; 6:37 PM ET  | Category:  Winner
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Hey Olivia,

I wanted to wish you congrats during the Live Chat, but missed it.

So congratulations on winning the cartooning contest and Happy 21st Birthday!

I look forward to reading 30 more days of your strip!

Stupid Inventor

Posted by: stupidinventor | July 16, 2010 6:36 PM
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Congratulations. I laughed out loud at #'s 2, 3 and 4. :-)

Posted by: Duodenum | July 16, 2010 4:12 PM
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Rebecca Cohn and her Mom are so happy for you; congratulations!! Enjoy figuring out what path you want to take....

Posted by: babscohn | July 16, 2010 8:35 AM
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Your comic is perfect for our generation. I would say more but there's a "Like" button over there so I'm just going to click it and then go watch some more "Lost" episodes on my iPod.

Sorry. I assumed it would be okay to use tortured, self-referential humor here.


Posted by: flergenmunch | July 15, 2010 10:13 PM
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Cheers Olivia, as a 20 something in DC, I think you have really got some amazing work! I believe the younger crowd will appreciate your comics!

Posted by: albinosquirrel1 | July 15, 2010 8:45 PM
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I'm old enough to be your Mom, and I love your work.

FWIW, my favorites among the strips printed are the Picasso-esque figures, the Requiem for Muffin, and - in homage to one of the all-time classics of comedy - Upon Whom Has One Foisted Foist... I Mean, First. Your twist on things reminds me a bit of Demetri Martin (that is meant as a compliment).

Herewith a rousing Huzzah from the next older generation!

Posted by: nan_lynn | July 15, 2010 6:12 PM
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As a fellow Top 5 finalist, may I be the first to congratulate you... Well done!
Go knock 'em dead!


Posted by: danboris | July 15, 2010 12:51 PM
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