Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Rhetoric, Theory and Culture (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Humanities

Advisor 1

Stefka Hristova

Committee Member 1

M. Bartley Seigel

Committee Member 2

Carlos Amador


This thesis traces the evolution of the panel across decades as well as various mediums. In one form, the panel becomes stretched when characters break the fourth wall to immerse readers in a new perspective on how the panel functions and creates meaning. In another form, comic book film adaptations comic imagery to instill a sense of nostalgia and to wink and nod at the audience, stretching the conventions of what the panel can be to impact the devoted audience. Lastly, in modern comic-reading apps, a ‘Smart Reading’ function remediates panels to provide an easier and unified path to read comic books. This indulgence requires the panel to break in a way that is less individual to the reader. Through analysis of these various aspects, we can see comic books have a medium specific requirement derived from panels that gets removed, redefined, and adapted to provide new experiences.