By Robb Armstrong
"He does wonderful work. A strip needs good characters—and that's what Jump Start has."—Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts
Joe and Marcy Cobb are the quintessential young married couple complete with a baby, two busy careers, and eccentric parents. An eminently likable pair, Joe and Marcy juggle their relationship, their jobs—he's a police officer, she's a nurse—and raising their daughter, Sunny. Robb Armstrong's characters are so popular that many readers of Jump Start tell him that they identify with the Cobbs.
In fact, Jump Start features issues familiar to readers of all colors. From buying a home to volunteer work to handling the demands of parents and baby, Joe and Marcy manage life's challenges with aplomb. "Don't say that word, Sunny! " Joe intones, correcting their daughter's newly discovered use of foul language. "Bad, bad, bad, bad," corrects Marcy in agreement. In the next frame, however, Sunny's trash-talking up a storm in church. "Next time we won't react so strongly," Joe says, embarrassed. "It's too late for next time," says Marcy, cringing in the pew.
Still, Armstrong approaches many African-American-specific issues and does so in a decidedly humorous way, and he bases the strip on his own life. While discussing a movie they've heard everyone likes, Marcy tells Joe, "It's a shoo-in to get overlooked for an Oscar! " To which Joe responds, "That good, huh?"
Robb Armstrong offers a unique perspective that strikes a chord with audiences hungry for a positive, authentic portrayal of middle-class African-Americans. Jump Start's humor crosses all lines because it's just that: appealing, realistic, and downright funny!