Robb Armstrong, a comic strip author from Philadelphia, struck gold with his daily strip, “Jump Start,” which he began in the ’80’s. The Jump Start strip is considered the most-widely syndicated comic strip from an African-American author in history.
Jump Start focuses on the Cobb family in Philadelphia. The heads of the family are Joseph “Joe” Cobb Sr., a city police officer, and Marcy Cobb, a nurse. Their kids, daughter Sunny, son JoJo, and twins Tommi and Teddy round out the rest of the cast. The basic theme of Jump Start are the trials and tribulations of a regular middle-class Black family.
Armstrong, a native of West Philly, was raised by a single mother who juggled the responsibilities of raising him and his four siblings. Armstrong attended Syracuse University and began honing his craft as an artist there. He began writing a comic for the school’s newspaper, “Hector,” which became popular. He then began crafting the early episodes of Jump Start while taking several odd jobs in design while living in New York.
Jump Start went into syndication in 1989 and today appears in over 300 newspapers. In 2014, the strip was said to be in development for a Fox television series, but nothing has materialized as of yet.
Today, the 54-year-old Armstrong resides in Los Angles with his wife and two children. He also performs motivational speaking engagements around the country.