I still don’t know when webcomicsnation is going to launch and I can start publishing Deputised Experts. But I thought it was time I highlighted some of the work that’s gone into the comic, so now there’s a gallery. It’s not in the pinup collection style of the Mary Tales gallery. No I thought I’d do something a little different. I’ve assembled a collection of the backgrounds. Let me introduce you to them.

Chapter 1, Page 1 is a full page shot of the front of a block of apartments. I cheat a lot with the backgrounds, tracing them from photos then adding shading in a variety of ways. The building in this picture was actually boarded up when I took the shot, but, as with almost every building within three miles of the city centre, it’s now being turned into posh flats just like the one in the comic.

This is quite a large file, I warn you.

Some early scenes take place on the periphery of a big demo. Most of the reference photos for this were from a few years ago and one from a recent Anti War demo.

A later scene takes place in a deli, as two of the characters discuss matters over a coffee. These were images where layering really came into its own for the various patches of shading.

Chapter 3 (they’re short chapters) opens in Salford Quays with two panoramic establishing shots. One of the Lowry and Imperial War Museum from across the Ship Canal and another of the Lowry from close to the War Museum. For the second picture I thought I’d experiment with ways to get the grey fills that bulk out the basic black and white art. In the end I used a Photoshop filter for removing scratches and dust with the size limit set way up to remove loads of detail.

Some other images used in establishing shots- MI6 headquarters, a street near to Manchester’s central Police station and the Katja. The original MI6 picture was taken in the summer of 2001 on a wander along the banks of the Thames. There’s a terrace overlooking the river that I’d actually been able to walk along before crossing the bridge. I imagine that’s closed to the public nowadays. The Katja was taken from a found image of a cargo ship, with the watercolour filter applied to get the background greys. The ship plays an important part in the backstory to the first DEx storyline. I’ll probably be using a 3d model for future views of it.

And finally, some out takes. The Flea and Firkin and some woodland. Now I’ve done these images I’ll just have to find a use for them some day.