When at University, Tom Armstrong was already the staff cartoonist of the campus newspaper. After getting his degree in Fine Arts, Armstrong worked as a freelance illustrator for a while. He did work for several magazines and advertising agencies.
In 1979, he teamed up with fellow artist Tom Batiuk to create talkshow host 'John Darling'. Armstrong left the comic in 1985, in order to spend all his time on 'Marvin', a comic he created in 1982.