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When crossovers break up [Sep. 20th, 2008|01:11 pm]
One of the great things about two webcomics doing a crossover is that you, when reading the crossing over storyline, comes into contact with two different comics as well as their respectice artistic angles on the various character, as the artist joins forces to pull this stunt through.
One of the worst things about webcomic crossovers though, is what happens when one of the involved comics suddenly drop off the net or removes its archives, then the other comic suddenly stands with a broken storyline which probably doesn't make any sense, or only make half the sense it was supposed to make during the crossover.

One of these cases could have been about the comic of Bobbins. Years ago Bobbins participated in a series of crossovers, notably with the comic of Goats which participated in two (rumored to be three but I haven't been able to confirm this so far) crossovers back in 99 and 02, but also with Superosity and Waiting For Bob.

Now, as I was adding some of those crossvers to the Archive, I quickly noticed that the original referred site during the crossovers of Bobbins.org, didn't hold the strips any more! There was no sign here of the original Bobbins webcomic. That meant the the 4 recorded crossovers was suddenly left orpaned as the significant other Bobbins-parts were missing.
Fortunately I discovered that the default Bobbins-site of Keenspot was still working, so with a little work I can now keep the references on the Archive up to date.

However, this still leaves the references from 3 other comics which participated in the crossovers, dead, and what if Bobbins had gone for real?
This is unfortunately what happens once in a while on the internet, and there are ways to get around it, or at least gather up the broken pieces.

One of the easy ways requires the artist of a comic which have participated in crossover to keep a frequent eye on the other part of crossovers as the years go by. If the other part changes site and/or linking method, he has to step in and change the links in his comic that corresponds with the crossover-strips in the other comic, keeping the flow of the crossover intact. This off course requires some effort on the artists side, and if he stops concentrating on and updating the comic at one point, the crossover will be left broken.

This off course only works if the comic stays on the net, but what if it suddenly drops completely off the net, archives are removed and the artist is impossible to get a hold on?

One of the things one should do if participating in crossovers with other comics, is to always save a copy of your partner-in-crimes corresponding strips for safe keeping, just in case. Do remember to notify him that you are doing so, although this should probably be no problem for him.
Doing this you can now, if his comic one day dissappear, upload his strips to your own site, add them to the pages they correspond with, and remove the now dead links to the defunct site, like Zortic did back when the Melonpool archives were removed due to the characters resetting the history (they were later restored), or like College Roomies From Hell did back during the crossover with Fans (though it had, at that time, more to do with Fans being a pay-per-view site, baring a lot of CRFH-readers access).
In both cases the crossovers were served for the readers and posterity.

Off course, it all requires some work and effort on the involved authors side, but personally I think its worth it to keep a storyline intact.

At a later turn I plan on taking up the different ways to run a crossover...