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“The Glass Looker: Collected Tales of Joseph Smith” | Check out this graphic novel!


Presented in graphic novel form, Elwood has made the deliberate decision to treat all of his historical sources to the First Vision account—both friendly and hostile, early and late, reliable and fantastic—as true, weaving them into a singular coherent narrative which tells the story about how a young, inexperienced boy would enter a world of magic, God, and prophethood.


It’s a wonderful glimpse into those enigmatic days before Mormonism formally entered this world, centered instead around the early life of the boy, Joseph, and his journey in realizing that he possessed a gift of seeing things which others could not, eventually doing so through the means of his own seerstone.

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The illustrations are vibrant and striking; the integration of recollections and rumors later told by various residents of Palmyra who claimed to have known Joseph in his youth, engaging. In a contemporary age where even mainstream religious belief can be increasingly dismissed as “irrational” or “superstitious”, Elwood presents us with the largely-lost world of cunning-folk tradition in early America—filled with ancient curses, magic circles, guardian spirits, and lost treasure. Don’t be mistaken however, there were plenty of skeptics in Joseph’s time as well! Through carefully-arranged prose and illustrations, the effect is that the reader is transported to the presence of the young Joseph, in all his magic, mischief, and mystery.

This volume is one of several forthcoming in a larger series which will tell an alternative narrative.

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In this first installment of Joseph’s journey learn about the local folklore that inspired American treasure digging culture and meet the early influences in young Joseph’s life, as illustrated directly from historical sources.

More than 150 full-color pages, plus maps, end notes, and sketchbook pages. Soft-cover binding.

This collection includes:
Ordinary World
A First Vision
Water Witch
All-Seeing Eye

“IT’S hard to say if I was more impressed by Elwood’s research and writing or the beauty of his art; both were excellent. I’ll start with the writing and the stories in The Glass Looker (emphasis on the “ies,” it is, after all, the COLLECTED Tales of Joseph Smith). Elwood did his homework and did it well. The Glass Looker is as thoroughly researched as any major academic biography of Joseph Smith. The stories in it incorporate many sources and hard-to-find facts. The Glass Looker may be a graphic novel, but it contains important and fascinating history.”

Read the full review written by Andrew Hamilton on the Association for Mormon Letters

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