Im in the process of building and perfecting a simple 2 fighter or monster vs fighter battle system as an applet.
What i do not know how to do and need some guidance on.. (after massive amounts of google searching and reading) is:
how do i place a back ground image on my applet that I can place other images and drawStrings on?
The same way you draw anythign else.
To chnage the background of a JPanel to an image you would subclass it and over-ride its update. Im sure there are many tutorials on the net about this. Whenever I need it frankly i justr ecreate it, it takes me about a minute of lookig at the JPanel docs to throw together a "JImagePanel" so its not something I keep the details of in active memory