One of my first jobs, when I started my freelance career, was to design and illustrate a comic for NRGP. It was aimed at school kids all over South Africa to create awareness of the dangers of gambling.
Myself and my partner, writer Ian Malone, were given incredible leeway to get the best possible product. So we ran with it.... and ran.... and ran. Far.
This is where I discovered how much potential ink washed backgrounds have against 'regular' outlined elements - especially characters.