NCS

Robb Armstrong

Robb Armstrong is best known for creating the comic strip Jump Start. Armstrong was born on March 4, 1962, in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Armstrong’s mother, Dorothy was a seamstress. He was the youngest of the five children. Armstrong attended the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr. During the senior year of high-school he completed a three-week intership with cartoonist Signe Wilkinson. He studied advertising design at the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

During college, he began submitting his comic Hector to The Daily Orange his freshman year and later became art director at the newspaper. Hector was a cynical, lazy black college kid who is accompanied by Meatball and Julias; a dog with human ears. When this character didn’t work well outside the college boundaries, he worked over the next four year to reshape Hector into Jump Start. During his early year as a cartoonist, he held a day-job at Weightman advertising in Philadelphia.

Jump Start, Armstrong’s comic strip revolves around the trials and tribulations of a middle-class Black family in Philadelphia that is made up of Joseph “Joe” Cobb Sr., a city police officer, and Marcy Cobb, a nurse and their four children. The family is named after the Cobbs Creek neighborhood located in West Philadelphia. After being picked for syndication by United Feature Syndicate in October 1989, the cartoon appeared in 69 papers within six months of launch. Since the launch in 1989 around 10,000 comics have been created. As of 2018, it is syndicated in over 300 newspapers throughout the United States, including The Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, and The Boston Globe. In 2020, Armstrong stated that he is working on a possible live action comedy television show based on Jump Start.

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