As they work on their "second challenge," the five finalists in The Post's "America's Next Great Cartoonist" contest describe the experience so far as humbling and encouraging.
creator of "Hoxwinder Hall," writes:
From receiving the call ... telling me I'd made the top 10, to reading that Stan Lee (you've gotta be kidding me?! Spider Man, X-Man, Fantastic Four? THAT Stan Lee?!) liked my comic strip, to anxiously awaiting word on whether or not I advanced to the top five - I have been running on an adrenaline mix ever since!"
the creator of "Real Time," says:
"What a great experience to have legendary cartoonists look at my work and give me mostly positive feedback. Even some of the negative comments were instructive. I do feel like a total idiot for putting a whole note in 3/4 time in the Mozart cartoon. I'm related to so many musicians, I'll never live that down."
creator of "Forever Endeavor," responds:
"It's been a real thrill to have my work reviewed and judged by veterans in the business. ... Although I've made my living for many years doing fine art painting and sculpture, cartooning is something I've always loved to do, so it's been a privilege and great fun to be able to share with others some of the things that make me laugh."
creator of "Stupid Inventor," replies:
"This has truly been an amazing, one-of-a-kind experience! I want to also thank the judges for their keen insight, and I will try to take that advice into account as I continue to work on Stupid Inventor. ... To the people who actually read the strips and voted for me, I hope to live up to your expectations with my Sunday strip!"
creator of "Imogen Quest," says:
"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."
Those are excerpts from their comments. You can read all their reactions at the contest's home page.