One of the more important (and often overlooked) aspects of any webcomic lies with the ease of viewing the comic’s archives. This can be especially problematic for those comics with multiple storylines, especially as readers may be more interested in specific storylines or characters than with the entirety of the story. Unfortunately, a poorly planned out archive (or one that fails to utilize some of the more esoteric tools currently available) can make it difficult to peruse a comic’s archives.
A case in point can be found with Alan Foreman’s anthropomorphic science fiction webcomic S.S.D.D.. For the past year, Foreman has been jumping between two storylines: a flashback story set in the future (thanks to time travel), and the “main” story set in the present. Unfortunately, this can prove to be… confusing to a new reader (especially when you consider that SSDD’s archive go back nearly 14 years, though the current leaping between the future-past storyline and the present-time storyline has only been going on for a couple years now).
Now, I can understand why Foreman started leaping between the two stories. The flashback story ended up taking far longer to tell than Foreman anticipated… and he felt the need to continue the present storyline, lest he risk losing readers when that storyline finally ended and they were plunged back into the present (or past, depending on your point of view). But without an easy method of sticking to one storyline when perusing the archives, Foreman is going to risk losing readers who may not realize just what’s happening with the two stories… or who may only be interested in one of those tales.