Robb Armstrong Goes Home Again

October 2, 1989.
What better way to celebrate 31 years of JumpStart than to issue a 30th Anniversary book.

The October 4, 2020 JumpStart made a sideways note about the book.

JumpStart © Ruff Sketch, Inc.

Robb Armstrong is the first Black cartoonist to have a comic strip run for 30 consecutive years. To honor the 30th anniversary of his comic “Jumpstart,” Armstrong held a virtual book signing discussion for Syracuse University, where he created some of his first cartoons.

Robbin Troy Armstrong went back to his old alma mater to talk about 30 years of JumpStart
and his earlier college comic strip Hector.

Hector © Robb Armstrong

Before his success with “JumpStart,” Armstrong studied advertising design at the College of Visual and Performing Arts and began his comic “Hector” for The Daily Orange his freshman year. “Hector” reflected Armstrong’s personal experiences as a college student such as his interactions with professors, a messy roommate and expensive textbooks.

The Daily Orange talks with the older cartoonist about the younger cartoonist.

Armstrong later became the art director for The Daily Orange, which paid $56 a week. To make extra money, he began a paste up job, which included gluing newspaper content to a large piece of paper and sending it through a printing press. Being a cartoonist gave Armstrong an extra responsibility as a paste up worker. Whenever a reporter didn’t fill their word count for an article and there was a gap on the page, Armstrong had to draw a cartoon to fill the gap in only 10 minutes.

“Without my experience of working for The Daily Orange, there is absolutely no chance that I would be a nationally syndicated cartoon artist today,” Armstrong said.

But then again, as Joe asks…