Complex backgrounds are just the worst for me. Dr. Juruna's lab took a solid N hours to draw all by itself. That's why once we've established the setting it's usually gradient backgrounds all the way. It's exasperating, as the MoS pages with solid background work all the way through look far better than the others (most of the Mars interlude, for instance) but I have to bow to time pressures.
If only there was some way to avoid this awkward situation -- some way to, perhaps, start a comic earlier such that there was plenty of time to make it look as good as it could possibly be... oh well, I guess we'll never know.