Aww! Lookit all the little gerbils!
The highest recorded IQ is arguably that of Marilyn vos Savant, at around 228 on the Stanford-Binet, but an IQ of 250 is not totally outside the reasonable human range; it would just be on the very, very far end, around the Leonardo da Vinci level or thereabouts. Of course, there’s more to intelligence than performance on standardized tests, as I’m sure Artie would be happy to discuss for hours and hours until you were willing to gnaw off your own leg to escape.
I assume that the sign in the second panel is meant to read “CAUTION: GERBILS,” but it’s missing a U. Artie’s cartoonist does not have an IQ of 250.
Helen has scary man-hands in that last panel. I like Artie’s little poses, though. I like it when I draw him with those fragile little twig arms.
Note that I’m willing to draw in additional foreground gerbils but still balk at the horrendous burden of drawing any damn backgrounds.
Dude, check out the gerbil hanging from the top of the second panel. I am awesome.
It just occurred to me that strangely-directed and often misguided hero worship is a running theme in Narbonic, especially the early strips. You’ve got Mell crushing on Dr. Narbon, the gerbils crushing on Mell, everyone crushing on ANTONIO SMITH, FORENSIC LINGUIST, etc. This probably says something about me, but I’m not sure what. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go put fresh flowers on my shrine to Mick Foley, the Hardcore Champion.
Helen’s shirt advertises the Tarzan Clans of America. I have no idea why. That is, aside from the fact that they’re awesome. I mean, the club booklet was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs and included an Ape-English dictionary.
Dave’s worried little face in the second panel is actually quite good. So is Helen’s crouching pose. I remember being pretty pleased with the art in this strip back when I drew it. I also took the trouble to draw one (1) background and include all twelve (12) mentally unstable superintelligent gerbils in a single panel. Pity I couldn’t do this well all the time.
Artie would object to the “animal wrangler” line.
Man, drawing gerbils is fun. My gerbils, I mean. I don’t know about drawing gerbils that resemble actual gerbils. As anyone who’s ordered any Narbonic merchandise knows, I draw gerbils on all the packaging, and I’ve got it down to a science now. Strips like this probably helped.
Yes! All the gerbils in a single panel! Hooray for wretched gerbilly excess!
Helen’s mysterious ability to distinguish between myriad identical gerbils will be mirrored much, much later, in “Mad Science Is Decadent and Depraved,” when Dave displays a similar talent with Madblood’s android duplicates. It’s a mad science thing.
Man, Dave’s glasses in those days were HUGE.