USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Emily Eskanos

First Advisor

Thesis Director: Dr. John Stanko, MFA, Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued



The purpose of this piece is to use narrative design to explore academic and philosophical concepts effectively. Unlike written papers, or graphs and models, the visual aspects of this piece are not merely carriers of the concept, but are integral parts of the process of exploring them, so I sought out to create piece of work that put that idea to the test. The research delved into the realms of both philosophy and design. Philosophy because, like a goblet without wine, my medium was empty without an idea to explore. Yet without design, the concept was merely stagnant information, instead of a tangible experience. I settled on the philosophy of Perceptual Relativity as applied to the perception of concepts. As for design, sequential narratives take many forms, but I settled on the more specific medium of a graphic novel. These two are appropriate because given the inherent structure and artistic freedom within the medium, the concept would have plenty of areas where it could be studied, conceptualized, and given shape for readers to interact with. Within this piece I was able to conceptualize and explore Perceptions of the Unknown through character design, storytelling, paneling, and visual metaphor, suggesting an effectiveness of the chosen medium of sequential narrative design. I also gained insight into the exploration not just as a reader, but more effectively through the process of creating such a work. This success implies the possible place of Graphic Novels, among other sequential narratives, in the realm of academic conceptual exploration.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program University of South Florida, St. Petersburg May 6, 2020.