Picture the scene. You're just idly surfing the web. You find a webcomic and read the most recent one. You laugh. You decide to read the previous one. That's funny as well. You read a week's worth and laugh at all of them. You feel the urge well up inside you. It's time to go on... an Archive Binge.
The systematic read-through is a common larval stage of more-than-casual fans of a webcomic. Such comics progress very slowly by most standards but online archives make back issue availability unparalleled. Even if reading a single installment takes seconds, a person coming across a new strip finds dozens, hundreds or even thousands of times as much new content.
So he'll sample a few... then a few more... then, if things are really working out, all of them.
The depth of the resulting addiction can be estimated from the disruption of daily life caused and from the degree of withdrawal symptoms once the reader finishes and has to follow the update schedule from then on. More sensible people time themselves and read up a little at a time. These are the people that can eat only one potato chip.
Mozilla Firefox extensions like Autopager can help by automatically adding the next page as you scroll, so you don't have to click on links. For some of them, you need to be quite technically minded, though.
The site Archive Binge lets you subscribe to a webcomic's archive via an RSS feed at a rate you choose, allowing you to binge at your own pace.
Archive Binge is common for first timers of this wiki, (and the other one) as xkcdhas pointed out. It is also an increasingly common phenomenon with regard to TV shows, now that it is possible to buy whole seasons of a Long Runner on DVD.
It is not unusual for fans who have already been following a series to undertake several more archive binges, often initiated by an Archive Trawl. It's also good practice for Fan Fic writers to undertake this, especially in a new fandom, or one they're going back to. It's often called "Canon Review" in these circumstances. The use of script-controllable downloaders (wget) or web crawlers like HTTrack can simplify both an Archive Trawl and an Archive Binge, due to having the comic permanently available offline usually with a minimum of time and hassle.
Contrast with Archive Panic. Compare Browser Narcotic for the non-linear equivalent.
See Webcomics Long Runners for a list of especially binge-worthy comics.
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Anime & Manga
Newcomers to anime often fall victim to this, due to the sheer amount of (fansubbed) material readily available on the Internet. Note that Archive Binging makes reading long arcs easier, cutting down on Arc Fatigue and eliminating the need to wait a week for the next installment.
Don't feel like (or can't) torrent? Uncomfortable with fansubs? The below mentioned hulu.com offers a RIDICULOUS amount of professionally subbed anime. And it has the entire series too. No downloading necessary. It even has a few dubs, though those are harder to get the rights to. Especially if the dub is still airing.
But one could always check Crunchyroll, they have quite a few series an average person would've never heard of otherwise. Unfortunately, a lot of the anime available on Crunchyroll is region-locked, too, but not all of it, unlike Hulu.
Scanlated manga hosts have a very good chance of turning into an Archive Binge.
Case Closed has 76 volumes of manga (each about an hour and a half of solid reading) and about 600 episodes in the anime. (Much fewer have been dubbed, however.)
As of this writing, the One Piece manga is at volume 68 and the anime has 583 episodes! And that's not even counting all the movies and specials.
Certain comic books (such as Action Comics, Detective Comics, and Batman) have been running continuously for over 70 years. Their long history and continuity changes seem to be enough to prevent most people from doing full-on binges... but heaven help you if you, say, read a particularly interesting arc from fifteen or twenty years ago that crosses over into three or four different series, all of which you get through perfectly legal methods, of course. And then, of course, you need the context, and then you want to know what happens next, and before you know it, you've read all 153 issues of Nightwing in two days. And then, after you've read every comic book in existence, you suddenly get a hankering for a favorite arc of yours, and it starts all over again!
While Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog hasn't been running as long as some famous DC or Marvel names, it's existed long enough to have nearly 240 main issues at the time of this writing, a Knuckles side-series that lasted into the 30s, an on-going Sonic Universe spinoff that is currently around issue 40, and numerous special graphic novels and miniseries.
As a gift to fans, every issue of ElfQuest was put online for fans to read/re-read/discover/share. Which makes it quite easy to binge on the series.
Thanks to online archives of traditional print comics on GoComics.com, the website of the two biggest newspaper comic syndicates in the United States, you can put traditional pre-Web favorites like Peanuts, Garfield, and Calvin and Hobbes on there too. Bonus points awarded, since many of these comics and their archives stretch back decades.
Adam@Home features this when Adam stumbles upon Lostpedia.
Thanks to its recent public domain status, you can now read all of Little Nemo in Slumberlandonline.
Reading Dykes To Watch Out For feels much the same as an extensive archive binge, and as it was produced between the late 80s and late 00s it is no small binge to engage in.
Little Orphan Annie has fifteen years of text-heavy strips published in collected editions by IDW. You'll have roughly 5,000 strips to get through.
I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC has over 100 videos on Youtube. That's 2 complete seasons of After Hours, working on a third, plus all the original format videos, parodies ad ads. And oh yeah, if you want to understand even half the jokes, you have to watch them all.
Undocumented Features. This fic started in early 1992, is still going strong today, and has several hundred stories with over 20 megs of text.
The Mad Scientist Wars has been going on for over a year and a half now, and has managed a huge number of pages with several highly complicated plots, and character backgrounds, and running gags... not even *counting* the Lounge (where the creators talk), The mad sci Tales (short pieces to do with MSW), and... so on. To the point where a summary has been worked on.
The Sacrifices Arc, recced on the Harry Potterfanfic page, is probably longer than JKR's novels. And so poignant and gripping that to begin to read it is to surrender the next month+ of your life.
Cat Tales has been updating on a chapter-a-month-or-so schedule for nine years, resulting in 60 separate stories (with almost 350 chapters, combined) and multiple (thankfully much shorter) spin-off series. Although heavily influenced by both the comics and the DCAU, it has its own cast of recurring characters and complicated storylines that require any new reader to start at the beginning before you're able to understand later stories.
Arguaby, My Immortal. You hear amusing lines from it. You hear about it. You want to know: "Is it really THIS stupid/silly/bad/awesome beyond compare?" So you read up on it, not wanting to receive the brain damage you've heard you'll get from reading it. Then you give up and read the whole thing out of curiosity, and bile fascination makes you read the whole thing (or you're generally amused by Enoby's adventures). So is it really as stupid/silly/bad/awesome beyond compare as everyone says? Answer: Yes. A million times, YES.
Even better, there are numerous dramatic readings of the fanfic on YouTube and other places. Watch/download one of those for some laughs while doing other things!
Take your time reading through Mario and Sonic: Heroes Unite!. I'll let you know right now, though, that that story has a lot. It's planned to have one hundred chapters when it is complete — and it is pretty close to that number of chapters already.
Given Turnabout Storm's episodic format, anyone hooked in with the mystery and/or the unusual crossover might be tempted to watch all of it in one go. If that's the case, you might want to stack up on snacks: Part 1 clocks at 30+ minutes, which is already relatively long, and all following episodes nonchalantly break the 1 hour mark. Case and point: The conclusion had to be split into two episodes to keep it from being too long, yet still the final episode manages to be 2+ hours long.
At over 1.3 million words as of November 2013, it's recommended to take your time reading Diaries Of A Madman. Depending on how fast you read and how much time you have, readers have reported it taking anywhere from several days to weeks of reading to catch up.
Leeloo in The Fifth Element when she is learning about Earth for the first time on the computer. She's supposedly going in alphabetical order, which is why we get a Break the Cutie moment towards the end when she gets to W (for war). The movie seemed to present her selections as fairly random. A contrived setup for sure, but it makes more sense than if she just skipped some entries.
The Lord of the Rings. Regular editions: 9 hours. Extended editions: 11 hours. Extended editions with the appendices: 92 hours. That's 4 days. Not even counting the regular editions, Rifftrax, or regular edition's special features. Good luck!
The James Bond series. 23 official feature-length films, three unofficial films and a short film of unclear canonicity that opened the 2012 London Olympics.
In Outlander, when Cainan crashes on Earth, he downloads the entire Norse language directly into his brain through his eye. His first words... "Ugh... Fuck!"
The Forgotten Realms novels about Drizzt Do'Urden are about 25 books by now, and to really understand the newest books you have also to read all of the others.
The Darkover Cycle are also loads and loads of books, it helps a little that they are categorized by the time area in which they are set.
Introduce someone to Discworld, then sit back and watch them obsessively devour all 30+ books.
Warrior Cats is a fun binge. Over 20 novels, and that's the bare bones experience. You have four super editions and more coming, books explaining history and characters, and several series of OEL. Your wallet willnever be this thick again if you decide to read. Have fun!
Now in the UK too, although the selection is not as great as in the US. The UK also has LOVEFiLM Instant, a service run by Amazon, although the DVD rental selection is better than that available for streaming.
The same for Amazon Instant Video.
Farscape and other hyper-linear series are written in such a fashion that each episode builds and relies so much upon the events of previous episodes that missing even one can create a comprehension gap in the current goings on. Farscape is a perfect example of this as major story arcs in the last seasons come full circle and build upon references and character interactions made in the 1st and second seasons.
For example: At the End of The Peacekeeper Wars, Chriton is about to fire the Worm Hole Weapon and makes Scorpius beg him up to, and including making him say "please", before he allows Scorpius to finally see the this fruition of all of his plans throughout the series. In an episode from a previous season, it is revealed that Scorpius was conditioned by the Skarrans, to never beg for anything in general and specifically to never, ever say "please". Without watching everything up to that point, the reference is completely lost and the true power and impact of the moment would not be comprehended by the viewer.
Japanese noise artist Merzbow released a 50-disc boxed set. And then Atlanta-area college radio station WREK broadcast the entire thing over three days. Also notable is this blog where somebody listened to and gave a track by track summary of the whole box. Spoiler: 90% is SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
Vocaloid. Part of its appeal is being able to go to Nico Nico Douga or YouTube and finding song after song after song. In the beginning there weren't that many, but now there are literally thousands of songs — tons for each character. You can get lost for hours just listening to all the funny songs, then all the horror ones, then the depressing ones... You get the idea.
Jazz musician Sun Ra has over a hundred full length albums, which add up to over 1000 songs.
Spotify has almost all of recorded music in history, for free.
ZME Science may be a fairly sensationalistic website, but they are quite good at linking to existing articles on the site that are interesting, and before you know it you've got 30 tabs on the go from topics from sex to jellyfish.
TED, a yearly conference, places most of the recorded presentations on its website under the Creative Commons license and has over 500 listed as of this writing. Good luck getting through them all in under a month.
The same thing happens on FORA.tv, only the videos are often much, much longer...
Most online streaming services, notably Netflix where you have access to entire seasons worth of TV shows at a time can be useful for wasting an entire day... or several.
Cracked.com Those countdown articles are addicting... and plentiful.
Skeptical blogs such as Pharyngula and Respectful Insolence not only make reference to older articles about similar topics or the same person, they often reference other skeptical blogs that have written about the same topics/people.
Facebook's newly introduced "Friend X and Friend Y" friendship review pages can have this effect.
Getty Images has been around since 1993 providing stock and editorial images, illustrations, and video. That might not seen like much, but they've also acquired older photography collections and digitized them. Good luck closing the window.
So you've found a Let's Player to subscribe to? Say good bye to the next week and a half.
Hell, the Let's Play archive itself has over a thousand complete Let's Plays registered, as of this point in time.
The 'Complete National Geographic has every National Geographic Magazine from 1888 to today: every page, every ad, and every article.
The Oxford English Dictionary. I'll just see this one little word... Hmm, while I'm at it, I wonder when exactly did "orbiter" come into use? Hey, there is a word "orby"? Gotta check it out. Hey, look, they've got an entry for "orc" and "orcish", too! Come to think of it, into how many possible meanings can they distil the word "too"? Hey, a Robert Ludlum quotation! Are there any more quotes from my favorite writers?
The M.U.G.E.N fighting game engine has LOADS of content available for it. Not only will picking your favorite characters to fight with be a total binge, but setting your stages, motifs and other add-ons is a massive adventure. And all of this considering you don't do any editing or creation yourself.
Freedom Force likewise has a huge number of skins and models for pretty much every conceivable superhero and supervillain, as well as many other characters.
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri actually uses an Archive Binge in the plot. One of the factions will dump the sum total of human knowledge into the brain of the Planet, in order to break a cycle that would cause human extinction.
Any video game with an in-game encyclopedia can turn into an Archive Binge. Notable examples include the codex section popular in BioWare games or vast selection of in-game literature of The Elder Scrolls series. Many a gamer has found him/herself spending several hours reading about the game world's history instead of actually playing.
The proliferation of ROMs and ISOs available for older consoles, (SNES, Genesis, NES, N64, PSX, etc.) can allow a one to lose themselves in thousands of free games on a computer, and to a lesser extent PSPs, smartphones, and soon to be Vitas.
Strategically keying up all nine-plus hours of Red vs. Blue so it can be watched in one marathon session. A bandwidth-intensive mission though.
It can take months (that is, if one is willing to sleep and go about their everyday life) to watch everything in the Homestar Runner universe, considering that all the videos, especially the Strong Bad Emails, are thick with in-jokes and references to one another. And even though it's been a couple years since the Brothers Chaps have released new material, by the time you've watched everything on the site, it's often necessary to dip back in to refresh yourself since it's nigh-impossible to retain all the gags at once.
Neurotically Yours has over 10 seasons of episodes to watch, so it's not surprising to see someone who stumbled upon the series to start checking out the much earlier episodes one by one.
Oh God, don't get us started on Kevin & Kell... It's been going nonstop for nearly 16 years. Weekdays for the first 5 years, every day since July 2000. Well over 5,000 strips. If you want to get started, pack a lunch.
It's Walky! (with its spinoffs) has been going on for 15 years, but is especially bad because it has a rather detailed plot.
MS Paint Adventures will take days to read since it is often updated with 10-15 individual pages of actions every day, with only few breaks.
Homestuck has over 6,000 (even longer then Kevin & Kell!!) panels, some with long "Pesterchum" chat logs or other paragraphs of text, and some with Flash animations. The whole thing is a tightly-knit ball of timelines, so you can't skip anything either. And then there's the plot, sometimes requiring visits to the series' own Wiki to fully understand, and the 16 main characters, commonly abbreviated to only two letters, to keep track of. It's all worth it, though.
Pity on the one who decides to just now get into Sluggy Freelance. Usually a comic a day for over ten years. It will be a long time before you see the sun. A "weekly" mode has been (re)added to the archives. If you can hold yourself to an hour a day on weekdays (in other words, one's lunch break) and you're a speedy reader, it'll take you about six weeks.
Girl Genius is a rather interesting example. Initially, the comic was split into two sections: the 101 beginner's section, which started from the beginning, and the "Advanced" class, for those who had been following the comic since it was originally released in print. Both sections were updated three times a week. In July 2007, the 101 section finally caught up to the beginning of the "Advanced" section, which resulted in a mass simultaneous Archive Trawl/Binge by those who had been reading the 101 comics. This both exceeded the site's monthly bandwidth and caused the server to crash.
Charby the Vampirate forces you to do this, so cancerously numerous are the characters... and unlike some amateurs, the author will keep track of every single one of them correctly and will give us time to be emotionally attached before she gets around to killing them off so the archive binge is as necessary as it is recommended purely to get full emotional stress when the killing begins!
Irregular Webcomic! shows how to do it wrong. At this point, newcomers to Irregular Webcomic! can expect to go through multiple Archive Binges. They'll find a theme they like, start reading the archive and then realize that in order to understand it you have to read this other them too and then to understand that one you have to read this one and...
Schlock Mercenary has been running like clockwork 7 days a week, 365 days a year for over TEN YEARS, with an extra two strips on Sundays. That comes out to 4500+ plus strips (or a mere 3500+ you don't count Sundays extra). The only time updates were halted was when the servers hosting the site were flood-damaged. The comics for those particular days were hosted on an emergency server, and were posted only a few hours late. Mr. Tayler has a record to uphold, after all. Schlock Mercenary makes it unnecessarily easy for even experienced Schlockers to do this, as the sidebar contains a "random strip" button that throws you back into the archives.
User Friendly has been running for over TWELVE years (anniversary was November 17 2009) and been doing 7 comics a week (Sundays usually larger than the Mon-Sat & in colour), 365 days a year. Those who REALLY want an archive binge can start here. Though many of the strips in the past year or more have been repeats.
Count Your Sheep has a strip almost every day, starting in early June of 2003 and continuing today. Not only that, Adis, the author, has at least two other strips that he also updates in addition to CYS. What a dynamo... Though recently it hasn't updated that much so you could probably read the last few years in one sitting.
Misfile is only a thousand pages or so at this point, but more than a few people who have lost sleep due to this trope. As of September 2011, approaching two thousand pages...
Good luck trying to Archive Binge at mezzacotta. It might take a while, with comics for every day back to 1st January, 9999999999999 BC (according to the proleptic Gregorian calendar). Just for sake of simplicity, the amount of strips that are there is 3650000000732555 strips ((9999999999999+ 2008)* 365) without including leap days, and assuming ideal condition that you can read 1 strip per second, which makes it 31536000 strips per year (no leap days, still). The amount of time to finish the whole archive is 115 million years! Yep, that 10^8 years you need to read to finish it. Granted, it's entirely made up of Dada Comics, so it's not like you'll get anything meaningful from reading them...
Webcomic/Newshounds started in 1997 and is running in the form of the creatively named Newshounds II. Needless to say, it takes a while to wade through it.
Funny Farm has lasted for 9.5 years. And it updated every, single day. There were only a few months in which he didn't update every day. Instead he updated 4 days a week for a month or two, then 5 days a week for a month or two, and then back to every day. However, the entire archive has been removed so he can post the 9.5 years worth of 7 days a week over 5 days with commentary. So the weekend strips tend to rest on weekdays now. It's no longer an archive binge, more an archive wait.
The Class Menagerie had ran for a little while, and the archive binge doesn't take as much as some strips like Newshounds and Funny Farm (Which it has crossed over with). Unfortunately, the strips are listed in the archive out of order so it's rather odd to see the "introductory" strips right after you finished several notable-sized story arcs. To make matters worse, some of the strips are even repeated. (The crossover with Newshounds shows up twice if one reads the archive from the beginning)
Sinfest is another 7 days a week 365 days a year strip, that has been running for just over eight years (with some gaps). However, Tatsuya Ishida seems to be fond of occasionally going back to earlier one-shot comics and giving them sequels (the "Politically Incorrect Fringe Rangers" are probably the best example; now up to their sixth iteration, often over a year apart). This inevitably leads to the reader going "wait, what, when was the first one?", and heading backwards a couple of years to refresh whose memory. Then remembering how much who loved the arc after that, and continuing from there. Recursive archive binging. Not pretty.
Zelda Comic has 306 strips that are all fairly funny and can take a few hours to get through. Then you discover that it has an updating schedule that makes erosion look like the Road Runner. In fact by now it appears to have stopped entirely.
Tally Road ran 7 days a week for much of its first year, and dropped back to weekdays without a break at nearly 400 strips all of which are part of a continuing story loaded with Chekhov's Gun, it is a prime candidate for this trope, partly because it continues at the 5-a-week pace, and partly because the site offers numerous widgets for skipping back to a previous weekday or story arc.
Sequential Art has an interesting page... it starts on the page after the last one you read every time you go to it. This makes it much easier to get through the 500+ strips in an Archive Trawl instead of one big Archive Binge.
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal hands down. Then there's the "Classic Smbc"... SMBC is the worst. With its addicting humor and a DAILY UPDATE you're in for a binge that could last a week.
The Cyantian Chronicles: Archive Binge gets paired with its sister trope, Archive Panic. Akaelae alone is up to 1100+ individual updates. Thankfully, there's a monthly archive which condenses everything into proper pages instead of the individual updates.
Sam and Fuzzy took this experienced webcomic binger several days to read through. To put this into perspective, she also read the 1200+ archives of Misfile in about three hours.
Dominic Deegan. Aagh. Ten-hour-straight archive binge only to find out that there's a huge hatedom surrounding the comic.
Slightly Damned requires a long archive binge. The fact that it's a continuous storyline that references previous happenings frequently makes it worse.
Acrobat is better when you read the issue(s) as a whole.
8-Bit Theater ran from 2001 to 2010, and has 1,224 strips, not including guest comics and the epilogue.
Screencap comics DM of the Rings (144 strips) and Concerned (203 strips) (based on The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Half-Life 2 respectively) are mercifully (relatively) short and now complete, making an archive binge relatively painless, meaning the elimination of merely hours of productive time rather than days or weeks.
Darths & Droids, inspired by DMotR, looks set to run for many, many years to come, extrapolating from how many strips each of the first two movies got, (over 200, but fewer than 300 each) and the fact that the third looks like it'll be a good bit longer, 1,200 strips is probably a good estimate for the lowest end of the scale for the whole series.
BZ Power.com 's The Editorialist made a series called Psycho Dogs and Carbonated Beverages. It has over 300 strips. They even lampshaded this trope in one comic.
American Elf, an autobiographical webcomic by and about James Kochalka, began in October of 1998 and as of 2010 it is still updating every single day of the year. To put this into perspective, Kochalka has a five-year-old son. The archives of this comic are longer than his son's entire life.
In Grey is... the comic itself won't take so long to read, but the authors sketch blog is filled with side stories, sketches and extra info on the comic and characters. It'll eat up hours of your time before you even notice
The Order of the Stick has 800+ comics in its archive as of this writing — hefty, but not gigantic. But... each strip is the size of a standard comic book page (sometimes two, rarely up to four). So with each strip 3-8 times as long as with most webcomics... Well, you're gonna be in for a while. And then you'll want to read the two prequel books, and then the Dragon strips....
Questionable Content has snared a few newcomers into this with the loveable characters and indie references. Not that I read from #1 to #1100 over two nights or anything...
Achewood has been running since October of 2001 and was updating steadily for quite awhile.
Cat And Girl has amassed 1000+ strips over 12 years, and is this in a big way due to its Continuity Porn fetish, to the point where incredibly obscure comic references show up on official merchandise.
New fans of Digger often mention that they have binged from the beginning to the most recent comic when they leave a comment.
Narbonic ran every day for six years. Shaenon Garrity is now re-running the strips daily with commentary as the 'Director's Cut'. But the old strips are still on-line.
And now the 'Director's Cut' has wrapped, so you have to read the entire 6+ years of the original, then the 6+ years of the annotated version to find all the jokes and refs oyu missesd the first time. The world's first *completed* double archive trawl.
The Adventures of Dr. McNinja. Why does Dr. McNinja have a mustachioed Mexican boy sidekick? What's with the raptor? Why does his dad have a mustache outside his mask?! You must learn these things.
Penny Arcade: Though it's entirely episodic, you really can't not read the old strips. And since Tycho and Gabe have been doing the same strip for longer than most webcomic creators have been in the business, you're in for a lot of reading. It doesn't help that they seem to have a comic on just about any topic even vaguely related to video games, which are frequently linked to on this very website. Yes, there's PA in your TV Tropes so you can binge while you binge.
Drowtales is a severe example of this trope. To even begin to understand what's going on in Chel, not only do you have to go on an Archive Binge, but you also have to read through Wiki entries, extra story arcs, and if all else fails, contact the forums. But then again, the comic itself is rather enjoyable, so many fans have found themselves on repeated archive binges, just for the hell of it
Superosity has been running for 11 years daily, with a large amount of continuity.
El Goonish Shive has been going since 2002 at 5 comics a week; starting from the beginning would be quite a task. If you follow the comic, you'll know that it started as a 7-a-week comic in 2002, dropped to 5 midway through the first year, became erratic, and returned to more or less consistency at 5 in Spring 2010. As of mid-April 2011 it has started a 6-a-week schedule. Only time will tell if it will stick but all the same, there is a huge archive for newbies to trawl through though it is common even for veterans to engage in Archive Trawls once in a while.
Something Positive has been doing daily (more or less) strips since 2002. He's at well over 2000.
Dinosaur Comics, over 2000 (probaby more) comics of the same images over and over again, yet completely gripping. In fact Ryan North, the creator, saw this happening and even added the occasional joke in the meta text just to mess with your mind... with words, because that's what it's all about. That and dinosaurs.
Cuanta Vida isn't as long as some other examples, but most of it's fans read it in one go.
Dork Tower has been going since January 1997 as a four-panel comic, a webcomic, a bimonthly comic book, and one-page strips for Dragon, Shadis, Spyre, Comic Buyers Guide, Comic Shop News, and other publications. The incomplete web archive starts from January 1st, 2001, but to really catch everything requires devoting a good chunk of time to the TPBs.
Deliberately averted with the Ciem Webcomic Series, which followed a different syndication logic consisting of chapters rather than strips; in which all were released more or less around the same time. Not uncommon for a story made withThe Sims.
Gunnerkrigg Court has 1129 comics as of December 12th, 2012, and is written as a full page per comic. Considering the nature of the story, it really is best to start on page one.
Natalie Dee began in 2002, weekly since 2003, daily since 2005, with easily 2000+ comics.
Real Life Comics: Running since 1999, making it one of the oldest webcomics still active. Lampshaded in the 12th anniversary comic, where protagonist Greg is telling this to his newborn daughter:
Greg: And hopefully, a few years from now when you're old enough to read, you'll want to go back and read all of Daddy's comics. Maybe even enjoy them. Won't that be neat? Harper:(blows raspberry) Greg: Everyone's a critic.
Twisted Kaiju Theater is a serious long runner, being one of the longest running photo-webcomics of all time and well over 3,000 strips. The problem is only compounded by the fact that TKT has a LOT of continuity throughout the series so you have to read everything in order the first time through to understand who the characters are and what their backstories are.
Bob and George ran for 7 years, and with only a few exceptions updated 365 days per year. The comic is very arc-heavy, with loads of mythology gags and callbacks, and even Time Travel revisits to past comics for filling plot holes. Dave even encourages binging by longtime readers with the addition of writer's commentary on early strips (though it looks like we may never see commentary on the entire run). Binging is made somewhat easier by allowing a reader to go to the beginning of specific story arcs.
''C'est la Vie has been running for over ten years now. The lives and story arcs of Mona and Donna, two total opposites sharing an apartment on Los Angeles, are oddly and weirdly compulsive. As are the long story arcs. And pierre. And Louis. And the new characters like Michael.
Don't you dare go to College Humor and start watching all 350+ episodes of Jake And Amir, because before you know it you'll be Hardly Working. It doesn't help that ALL of College Humor's shorts are about 2-3 minutes long and are hilarious; you can't help but watch one, see that it is only 8:00 PM, and say "one more won't hurt, what's 3 minutes gonna do ... IT'S 4:00 AM!!!"
This is ridiculously easy with Let's Plays. Screenshots aren't too bad, but the long video ones...
The 10-minute (later changed to 15 minutes) video time limit of YouTube, the most commonly used host for Let's Plays, doesn't particularly help either. This is how two hours of gameplay gets spread across 12 videos, and how veteran LP uploaders can rack of ridiculous statistics like having on average a new video uploaded every 10 minutes.
As of December 2010, videos can be as long as they want now, although Let's Play videos rarely go above 20 minutes, though.
The Mindcrack server is a whitelisted Minecraft server with 25 active members (all You Tubers.) There are more than 2,600 videos, only counting active members and the vanilla server. Add in the two spinoff servers/series (Feed the Best and Ultra Hardcore)...
Boltage McGammar has over 1800 videos... and he's still going. His Link to the Past and Link's Awakening LPs were each uploaded in a single day. With roughly 20 games already having complete LPs, 2 more he's currently working on, and 4 that are on indefinite standby (half of those because of save file corruption), you're in for the long haul if you decide to Archive Binge this one.
Speaking of YouTube... The Amazing Atheist's videos are an example of this. He does on average 1 video a day and had 664 videos at one point.
Raocow not only has his 1400+ videos on YouTube, but also has well over 1000 on other video sites. Good luck with that.
Series of Let's Plays. Want to experience Nakar's wonderful tales about the exploits of Steve the Avatar in full? Then you have six full-length Let's Plays ahead of yourself (Ultima IV, V, VI, Martian Dreams, VII and Serpent Isle). Love The Dark Id's snarky style as he tears apart the Resident Evil games? Again, seven entire Let's Plays.
It's even worse if — after finishing binging a work — you then proceed to read through its TV Tropes page (and all subpages, such as Wild Mass Guessing), and then check out its "related links". If it's a work popular among tropers, this secondary binge can take a relatively long time.
Listening through all the links on the TouhouCrowning Music of Awesome page. By the time you've listened to them all, be prepared to use a few more hours to listen to the ones added while you were going through them for the first time.
Casually glancing at the index at the bottom of the page, particularly if you see a trope you're unfamiliar with or haven't seen in a long time, only worsens the problem — especially with the various groupings/lists of related tropes.
This page is especially bad. If the other examples here are offenders, this page is an offender squared. A large archive of large archives...
Even websites about comics succumb to this, such as The Comics Curmudgeon. C'mon, I dare you to not keep flipping back through the archives of commentary.
The Anime Motivational Posters thread at Crunchyroll. First you see an anime you recognize, then you see one that's really smart, then you start to notice the hilarious banter between the moderator and the regulars, and before you know it, you've gone 200 pages. The fact that it grows around 5 to 10 pages a day does not help.
This is frequently caused by Survival of the Fittest: over one hundred characters, each with their own unique storyline spanning almost a year of RPing. That's a hell of a lot of archive to get through, and the hours can be quickly whiled away reading the stories of a few characters you like, let alone the whole lot.
The Whateley Universe site tends to cause this in some... which can be frustrating, or enlightening, when one reads five variations on the same story from different viewpoints. A hundred or a hundred fifty wouldn't be so bad, but they're all full stories. And some of them are (literally) as long as Harry Potter novels. Good luck on getting through even one of those in a single night.
Archive binges can get ludicrous when applied to text-heavy mediums, like blogs. Long-running, text-heavy, frequently-updated blogs can easily take your free time for a week to properly binge. Of course, this also applies to series of novels, newspaper columns, and other similar media, but blogs tend to be the easiest to access.
LoadingReadyRun can easily qualify. Over 300 videos (most of season 1 is unavailable, but the bonus vids easily make up the difference), averaging, oh say, 6 minutes a piece. That's over 30 hours folks.
SCP Foundation. And that's not counting all the time you'll spend never sleeping again, because you're scared out of your wits.
The Salvation War, with two eighty-plus chapter books complete (alright, the chapters are quite short, but the point still stands), you'll spend at least a week catching up if you read at a reasonable pace.
The Descendants is divided up by issues, which tends to make its vast length seem less intimidating at first appearance.
Long-running forum RPs. If you want to hop in, and there's plot you need to be aware of, it can take a lot of reading to catch up.
The Yogscast contains more than just Simon and Lewis. Don't let yourself get pulled into their wacky British Minecraft shenanigans.
Toby "Tobuscus" Turner. He has three channels. His main has just over 300 videos, his vlog channel, "tobyturner", has almost 1000, and his gaming channel, "tobygames", has almost 3000 videos, most of which are 10 minutes long. Have fun.
Dead End Thrills is a website with beautiful, artistically rendered and modified screenshots from video games made to look like art (or at least like a swell wallpaper.) As of April 1, 2013, it had almost 1500 entries, and it's still growing.
Then there's Fred "Slacktivist" Clark's page-by-page criticism ofLeft Behind, a page of which has been put up nearly every week since late 2003. And by "page" we mean "an everincreasing amount of text, with length jumping up a category when it mashes one of Clark's Berserk Buttons".