Jump Start by Robb Armstrong
Type: Comic Strip
Jump Start offers an authentic, positive representation of middle-class African Americans. Joe and Marcy Cobb are a young African-American couple trying to balance their careers - he's a police officer, she's a nurse - with a loving marriage and warm family life shared with their young daughter, Sunny, toddler son, Jojo and twins Tommi and Teddy, and all the unexpected excitement" they bring to JumpStart.
Jump Start offers an authentic, positive representation of middle-class African Americans. Joe and Marcy Cobb are a young African-American couple trying to balance their careers -- he’s a police officer, she’s a nurse -- with a loving marriage and warm family life shared with their young daughter, Sunny, toddler son, Jojo and twins Tommi and Teddy,and all the unexpected excitement” they bring to JumpStart.
July 15, 2005, was a momentous day in the Cobb household, as Joe and Marcy welcomed Teddy and Tommi into their lives,. Even before their birth, Teddy proved to be a fighter and natural “not-quite-born” leader (in the womb!) as he implored the more hesitant Tommi to follow his lead into the world.
“When Marcy became pregnant with twins, it came as a complete shock to me,” says Jump Start creator Armstrong. “My original idea was to expand the strip by just one new addition to introduce a little humorous tension between Joe and Marcy. Suddenly I thought that it would really stun Joe if, just when he got used to the idea of having one more kid, -TWINS! Two babies are twice as much fun to write about because they ‘converse’ about life, and bounce ideas and future plans off each other. I hope my readers are as excited as I am about the twins!”
For nearly 20 years, Armstrong has entertained millions of readers with Jump Start. One of a handful of syndicated African-American cartoonists, Armstrong brings a unique perspective to his strip with art and storylines that are upbeat, fun and undeniably realistic. Jump Start always has offered an authentic, positive representation of middle-class African Americans with charm and insight born of personal experience.
“I’m drawing about my life; about a black couple because I’m black. Nearly every married couple I know is like Joe and Marcy. The image of young blacks is so skewed, so false. Joe and Marcy and the characters I’ve developed are deep and based on real life.”
Jump Start appears in more than 400 newspapers across the country through Universal Uclick. The strip also can be found on the Internet at www.gocomics.com.
Armstrong has lent his characters to several public service campaigns, including the American Diabetes Association¹s campaign promoting the Diabetes Risk Test and the American Cancer Society’s “Great American Smokeout.” In 1995, the Religious Public Relations Council presented its Wilbur Award to Armstrong for demonstrating “excellence in the communication of religious issues, values and themes.” He has been recognized by the Governor of Pennsylvania, The Senate, House of Representatives, Department of Justice and Nestle’s “Men of Courage” program for his tireless community outreach.
Articles about Armstrong and Jump Start have appeared in Time, Ebony, The New York Times, Black Enterprise and People, among others. He also has contributed cartoons to national magazines, including The New Yorker. He has been a featured guest on “Good Morning America,” MSNBC and numerous local and national TV shows. He has served on the Boards of Directors of the National Cartoonists Society and his two alma maters, The Shipley School and Syracuse University.
There are three Jump Start books in print: Twins Twice the Fun: A bundle of Jump Start comics that really deliver (Journey, 2008); Jump Start (Andrews McMeel, 1997), the strip¹s first comic collection, and Jump Start: A Love Story, (HarperPerennial, 1996), a graphic novel that contains more than 80 previously unpublished flashback-style cartoons chronicling the humorous, touching story of Joe and Marcy’s courtship.
Meet the Cast of Jump Start
- Marcy A fun, caring mother, a dedicated nurse and a loving wife. She is devoted to her family and arranges her hectic schedule so she can spend as much time as possible with them.
- Joe A good cop who adores being a father and is very much in love with his wife. Joe is a hard-working guy and a kid at heart who juggles all his roles while struggling to make time for who is really important in his life.
- Sunny Joe and Marcy’s upbeat oldest child. She loves macaroni and cheese. Sunny is the perfect name for this curious, sly, smiling, intelligent girl. The apple of her parents’ eyes, Sunny knows how to wield that big sister power.
- Jojo Joe Jr. is as spunky as they come. He’s got a lively imagination, thriving leadership qualities, and can be caught causing all the havoc little brothers cause.
- Tommi Teddy’s twin sister. She is the much more reserved and reasonable of the two.
- Teddy The newest addition to the Cobb household, along with twin sister Tommi. Teddy is a natural-born leader and definitely the feistier of the twins.
- Frank Joe’s dad. The patriarch of the Cobb family who’s always eager to hand down a little advice. Frank is a big teddy bear of a man who is adored by his grandkids. Being an ex-cop, Frank is incredibly proud of his son – and always worried about him.
- Dot Joe’s mother. Dot always carries plenty of snapshots of Sunny, Jojo, Teddy and Tommi to show off at a moment’s notice. She’s a notoriously bad driver although she’d never admit it. Dot is outgoing, upbeat and crazy about her family.
- Crunchy Joe’s partner. Crunchy sees it and calls it like it is. He’s a dedicated police officer and a no-frills kind of guy. Crunchy may be tough, cynical and grouchy on the outside, but he’s a good man who can always be counted on for a great punch line.
- Doctor Appleby A friend of Sunny’s from daycare. His mother wants him to be a surgeon when he grows up, so she dresses him in scrubs every day – and named him “Doctor.” The other kids have to make an appointment with him months in advance to get a Band-Aid.