As we mentioned a post or so back, Otakon, one of the biggest anime/manga shows on he East Coast was held this weekend in Baltimore, with more than 30,000 fans in attendance. One bit of news that dropped is that the show is moving to Washington, DC in 2017. The problem is that the Baltimore Convention Center is too small and, to be frank, out of date. Have we heard this story before?

The Greater Baltimore Committee proposal calls for a new 500-room hotel and the demolition of the existing Sheraton Hotel and a new 18,500-seat arena on the Conway Street land between the new hotel and Charles Street. It also includes a plan to demolish the east wing of the convention center and triple its size to 580,000 square feet, and connect it with the Arena.

The convention center in Washington has 700,000 square feet of exhibit space, compared to 300,000 square feet in the Baltimore Convention Center. Noonan, a supporter of the GBC proposal, said there is no firm financial plan to support it.

The BCC is also where the yearly Baltimore Comic Con is held, a fan and pro favorite for it’s convenient location. I go most years (missed last one) but the facility isn’t quite state of the art. And downtown Baltimore itself has pretty major problems—outside the touristy Inner Harbor things get dicey at night. (One year, the parking garage attendant at our hotel actually had to warn us that a gang was headed our way and we needed to come inside as a bunch of comics folks stood on the sidewalk yapping.)

The plan to expand is just that: an idea. Otakon is a lot bigger than the Baltimore Comic-Con, but obviously this is a developing type situation.

Otakon has also announced a sister show to be held in Las Vegas. So Anime shows are not dead!

In other Otakon news, most excitingly, Viz is bring Monster back! This series by the great Naoki Urasawa is one of his most accessible works—it’s the story of a doctor who devotes his life to stopping a killer whom he saved as a child. The new edition will be in 9 books instead of 18, with double sized issues. It’s very heartening to see a book of this quality come back into print. Manga is not dead either!

There were more licenses announced from Vertical and Seven SeasThis blog post has a round up, including Vertical bringing out Fumi Yoshinaga’s Kinou Nani Tabeta?, aka What Did You Eat Yesterday? which is a foodie manga about a gay couple.


  1. When I attended the BCC, I stayed at the hostel near the Pratt Free Library.

    This meant I had a nice stroll every morning (and night) down Charles Street.

    That street is okay… but once you get to downtown, with the failed urban renewal… well, it makes DC look good. I’ve lived in downtown DC during the bankruptcy, I live in the Bronx, so I’m aware of what’s going on. But I’m not the typical tourist.

    If it wasn’t for the convention, I wouldn’t go. Even when I lived in DC, the closest I got to downtown was the airport. Yeah, there’s baseball and football, but DC has that as well.

    DC has a huge convention center. Two, actually… a large subterranean hall, then a smaller hall high above that. I was there for BookExpo and an American Library Association conference… it’s a bit north of The Mall, at 8th and K.

    I’m expecting SPX to make a similar move…

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