The Washington Post has just announced the winner of its comic strip contest. In May the newspaper started its search for “America’s Next Great Cartoonist.” Some 500 people entered, submitting comic strip ideas to readers and judges. The winner is a college student, College of William and Mary senior Olivia Walch.

Walch is a cartoonist for her school newspaper, The Flat Hat. Check out Walch’s winning entries here.

According to a Post article by Michael Cavna:

Walch’s winning entry is a gag-cartoon comic that relies heavily on metahumor. In “Imogen Quest,” her whimsically rendered people seem to be deconstructing the accepted notions of a comic strip even as they are populating one.

Walch says she tries to figure out what the natural punch line of her cartoon might be — then she veers in another comic direction entirely. Many readers responded positively to her playful metacomedy: She received more than 1,000 votes in each of the two rounds of voting.

The prize for winning this contest is $1,000. Comics by Walch will appear in the newspaper’s Style section beginning in August. [Image of 1762 William & Mary graduate Thomas Jefferson via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer