Tillie Walden visits Burroughs

AnnMarie O'Shea, Reporter

Tillie Walden, a 22-year-old cartoonist and illustrator, visited Burroughs on October 2nd to talk to the students and to introduce her books.

Walden described her path to comics, which included a 12-year skating career that later influenced her memoir, Spinning. Walden went on to graduate from the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont; as Dr. DesPrez put it, “she’s kind of a wunderkind… a fancy German word for a wonder child,” having already published six books in her early 20’s.

Taking the comic book world by storm, her works reach different people. Whether you are a book-nerd or someone who only reads the required English books, her stories of self-discovery can resonate with teenagers and young adults. “Her cartoons were beautiful, and I’m excited to see her future work,” Allie Lane ‘21 said.

Spinning recounts Walden’s own life through pictures showing the awkwardness of childhood, the solitude of being an introvert, and the stress of being yourself. Her personal stories about coming out as a lesbian, ice skating, and pursuing art are featured prominently. Walden described herself to Dr. DesPrez as “an introvert who is very good at faking extraversion when the situation requires it.”  During her Q&A with Burroughs students, Walden’s introversion was evident at times, as she doodled on the board while answering questions

The response to Walden was positive. Seeing a young adult succeed doing what she loved, inspired some students to keep pursuing art or whatever they were passionate about. “We don’t often get the chance to hear from young people who are succeeding in their chosen professions, so hearing from someone like Walden was really interesting,” Eli Hurwitz ‘19 said after the presentation, “As a young person who’s also interested in art, I really enjoyed hearing her story.”