About a month or so ago, I began working on Benthic full time. I've started a blog for everything specific to the process, which I very much hope you'll follow at Benthic - Below the Surface. I'll continue posting my life drawing and work from my other illustration projects here, but (for the time being at least) some of my work that is both sketchbook and Benthic related, I'll simply cross post.
In any case, one of the inbetween stages of the graphic novel process that doesn't fit neatly into any categorized step is designing each of the settings. Not only important to catch the mood of both the scene and the setting itself, but also important to know exactly where everyone is standing, where they are moving to and from, and what parts of the room we need and maybe don't need to see. I usually do this after I thumbnail, and as I pencil. I try to work out the settings a scene or two ahead of where I am; far enough ahead not to slow me down when I get to pencil I page in a place I haven't designed, but close enough that the place is still fresh in my mind for drawing the entire scene.
Attached is one of the concept pages for the hub on the Methuselah, which is basically the equivalent to a bridge or CIC. I made a couple changes on the fly while drawing this current issue but all the major ideas are there from both a mood perspective and from an overhead layout of where everything is.