Rob Deb: From Krypton 2 Clapham
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2006
An hour of thrill-powered stand-up for geeks, freaks and fan-boys. Irish/Indian comedian Rob Deb shows you how to stop worrying and wear a cape. Comedy comes to comic books for real heroes everywhere!
This show is very much a one-hour defence of comic books as an artistic medium a noble goal, carrying with it something of an irony in that Deb is using stand-up to do so, a genre that is itself often dismissed by certain critics.
The show sticks fairly strongly to comic books as a theme, but those who don't know their Transmetropolitan from their Transformers need not worry: there are very few jokes that require any sort of knowledge of comics, and those that do are generally set up well enough so the layman will understand it . He does include contain a lot of references to other bits of pop culture however, and you might need to know your cinema, too.
Deb's argument is based around anecdotal evidence from his time working in both a comic book store and a regular book shop. He gives evidence acknowledging the weirdness of customers in both places but maintains that those going to the book shop were generally less intelligent. And while the comic book fans may ask stupid questions none of them ever defecated in the philosophy section - as someone did at the bookshop.
Deb's material is fairly decent, though his delivery isn't the best, and he's too easily distracted by the comings and goings that are regular occurrences in Free Fringe shows. The impact of some material was damaged by these constant interruptions.
This isn't helped by a persistent heckler, to whom Deb pays too much attention, focusing on winning the fight rather than ignoring her, thus causing the scripted material to suffer. A couple of his stories are also a bit hack, discussing class diferences at university, and even doing a variation on the Tolkien's 'The Two Towers' / September 11 gag.
This is a decent show, and comic book fans will probably get a kick out of it, but Deb needs to focus on his presentation and avoid being so easily distracted if he's to do the writing justice.