I flew to Dublin Airport from London City, which was DELIGHTFUL, then got the BUS into Dublin Actual, with a bus driver who was firstly ARSEY and then REALLY ARSEY when I asked to get off at an earlier stop. He did not like it AT ALL and refused to help me get my bag, then got ARSEY-IST at my lack of professional experience unloading suitcases. I would have felt bad about the whole bag business if he hadn't been such an ARSEY TWIT to begin with!
I then went to get a DART to Dun Laoghaire and it is a Good Thing that they have ticket machines as I would have spent ages trying to get a ticket to "Dun Low-g-Hair" when it is actually pronounced "Dun Leary". I've been saying "Dun Low-g-Hair" for MONTHS without a clue where it was - I did wonder why people in other countries do INSIST on such spellings ... then remembered i spent about 14 years living in Leicester.
The DART was the least DART-like transport ever, but was quite nice as it reminded me of one of the rattly old trains at Indietracks. Some 12 year old YOUTHS glared at me from the platform at one point, but from then on everyone I met was LOVELY. I got to Dun Laoghaire, checked into my hotel, and started as I meant to carry on by going straight to the PUB.
It was WEIRD to see everyone, as it's been three years since we last had an in-person comics conference, but it soon got into the usual GROOVE. For the two main evenings of the conference proper everyone went to a very nice pub called The Lighthouse which had a wide range of beer and also Vegan burgers, which meant that's where I had my tea! There were new people and old people, but it all smushed into the usual EXTREMELY good-natured camaraderie that these events have. Comics Studies really IS an extremely friendly field!
The conference itself was really good too. There was much discussion of the high quality of the TALKS as a reflection of how Comics Studies is growing and becoming A THING e.g. there were NO talks where people from other fields turn up and say "Have you ever read Watchmen? Let me tell you what happens" or similar, as there have occasionally been in the past. ALSO all the talks were highly relevant to the theme of ETHICS, and there were lots of SUPER INTERESTING THORTS to be had.
I did my presentation on the last day, which went pretty well, and I was then a bit sad to have to ZOOM OFF to get home. I chose NOT to go back the same way as I'd come, instead getting a coach direct to the airport, which worked out really well. Everyone had been worried about flights home because the news was full of plans to get the ARMY in to sort out "CHAOS" at the airport, but actually it was all DELIGHTFUL. I learnt a LOT, not least how to pronounce "Dun Laoghaire"!