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Robb Armstrong
Robb Armstrong is an African Americancartoonist, best known for creating the comic stripJump Start. His comic strip Jump Start is the most widely syndicated daily strip by an African American in the world.
Robb Armstrong
BornRobbin Armstrong
March 4, 1962 (age 59)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NationalityAmerican
EducationSyracuse University
OccupationCartoonist
Notable workJump Start
Spouse(s)Crystal D. Armstrong
Website
www.robbarmstrong.com
Early life and education
Armstrong was born on March 4, 1962, in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1] Armstrong's mother, Dorothy was a seamstress. He was the youngest of the five children.[2][3]
Armstrong attended the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr.[1][4] During the senior year of high-school he completed a three-week intership with cartoonist Signe Wilkinson.[5][6] He studied advertising design at the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.[7]
Career
Early career
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.[3] When this character didn't work well outside the college boundaries, he worked over the next four year to reshape Hector into Jump Start.[6][7] During his early year as a cartoonist, he held a day-job at Weightman advertising in Philadelphia.[5]
Jump Start
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.[3][8][9] The family is named after the Cobbs Creek neighborhood located in West Philadelphia.[1]
After being picked for syndication by United Feature Syndicate in October 1989, the cartoon appeared in 69 papers within six months of launch.[5][6] 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.[2]
In 2020, Armstrong stated that he is working on a possible live action comedy television show based on Jump Start.[7][10][11]
Other work
In October 2010, Armstrong's work was featured in The Original Art of the Funny Papers exhibition at Syracuse university's XL Projects gallery in Armory Square.[12][13] On May 19, 2012, Armstrong received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris causa degree from Holy Family University in Pennsylvania.[14]
In 2016, Armstrong published a part self-help book, part memoir titled Fearless: A Cartoonist's Guide to Life.[1][10]
Influence
Armstrong lists Charles M. Schulz as one of his influences and heroes, saying that he started drawing sketches of Charlie Brown at age five.[3][15][16] Schulz gave his Franklin, the Peanuts strip's Black character, the surname Armstrong, after Robb Armstrong.[8][15][16]
Personal life
Armstrong has two children and is married to Crystal D. Armstrong, an events planner.[17] They reside in Burbank, California.[1]
Publications
References
  1. ^ a b c d e Wellington, Elizabeth (April 26, 2016). "'Jump Start' Comic Strip Creator's New Book Part Memoir, Part Self-Help". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Armstrong: JumpStart's positive depiction of African American life is refreshing". Philly.com. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  3. ^ a b c d Hillinger, Charles (27 January 1991). "Jump-Start Creator is Beating the Odds". The Los Angeles Times. p. 138. Retrieved 16 January 2021 – via Newspapers.com .
  4. ^ "Shipley School honors alumni, continues 125th Anniversary Celebration with special programming this spring". Main Line Media News (Press release). Lower Merion. May 21, 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Soulsman, Gary (1 April 1990). "Comic: New strip focuses on marital togetherness". The News Journal. Wilmington, Delaware. pp. H1, 85. Retrieved 2 January 2021 – via Newspapers.com .
  6. ^ a b c Soulsman, Gary (1 April 1990). "Comic: New strip focuses on marital togetherness". The News Journal. Wilmington, Delaware. pp. H6, 90. Retrieved 2 January 2021 – via Newspapers.com .
  7. ^ a b c Walker, Julia (14 October 2020). "Cartoonist Robb Armstrong reminisces time at SU, discusses new book". The Daily Orange. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  8. ^ a b Nelson, Connie (July 27, 2020). "'Jump Start,' one of the first comics about Black Americans, comes to the Sunday Star Tribune". Star Tribune. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  9. ^ Gitt, Tammie (February 5, 2018). "5 Questions: Cartoonist injects humor into serious messages". The Sentinel. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  10. ^ a b Gibbs, Adrienne Samuels (23 July 2016). "Black Cartoonist Draws Lessons from Losses". EBONY. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  11. ^ Hegarty, Tasha (23 November 2014). "Fox adapting Jump Start comic". Digital Spy. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  12. ^ Seely, Hart (10 October 2010). "Syracuse University Exhibit Showcases Comic Strips". The Post-Standard. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  13. ^ "Famous syndicated cartoons to be exhibited at XL Projects Oct. 6-31". Surface Repository. Syracuse University VPA. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  14. ^ "Distinguished Alumni Award Presented to Robbin Armstrong '81 and Paolo Malabuyo '91 April 29, 2016". The Shipley School. 2016-04-27. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  15. ^ a b "'Peanuts' Character Franklin Turns 50". NPR.org. Retrieved 2018-07-29.
  16. ^ a b Axelrod, Jim (August 2, 2018). "The surprising story behind Franklin, the first black "Peanuts" character". CBS News. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  17. ^ "Robb Armstrong (JumpStart)". GoComics. 2013-10-25. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
External links
Last edited on 16 January 2021, at 23:29
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