Jak Aktion Comics and Games is reaching the end of the road, becoming the latest downtown Port Orchard business to close.
The business was just five years into its lifespan when owner Daniel Noce posted notices on Facebook and the windows of its most recent location in the purple-colored corner of Bay Street and Sidney Avenue. “After much thought, sleepless nights, and more than a little self-reflection and hand wringing, it’s been determined that it is time to call it quits,” he said.
The reasons to shut down were considered “too numerous to list,” but Noce said the business had reached a point of untenability and that the energy to continue was low.
Store manager Anna Karakas offered additional insight, citing an increasingly tough market. Comics, like all other products across America, have increased prices attached to them both due to inflation and the top companies in the industry having more control over what gets pushed out.
“It’s tough because anything like this is always going to be the first thing that people cut out of their budget the minute that money is tight, and so, it’s really, really hard right now because everyone is tight on money,” she said.
The local market is no better, said Karakas, who added comic audiences are scarce throughout the Kitsap Peninsula and any stake to be had in Bremerton was already under control by other stores.
“I’m not sure if Port Orchard is the right market to sustain a store like this,” she said. “Port Orchard is a place where the majority of people are, I’d say still at this point, retirees or people with children. Both of those are not exactly our key demographic.”
The pandemic also played a big part in the decision. Karakas said the pair were hoping to break even in the first five years, but the sudden shutdown caused a lot of lost momentum. “It’s one of those very frustrating circumstances where, if we could conceivably give it two more years, we might reach a point where we’re breaking even because we’d basically have to recover from the two years that totally screwed us over,” she said.
The store’s approximate date of closure is April 2. Until that time, Noce said the store will liquidate its stock.