Alexander (Alex) Devinci
Alex was born in Boulder, Colorado on June 21st, the summer solstice of the new millennium. This curly topped boy, along with Bartholomew, is one of the prophesied Deliverers whose art protects sleeping children from the dream-invading Shadow Swine. His father is a math professor and his mother writes quirky cookbooks. His best friend is his dog, Rembrandt who helps him carry paint brushes and smooth out the drop cloth below his easel. When he’s not painting, Alex can be found skateboarding around the streets of his Santa Barbara home. Alex totally hates bullies and will call them out if he catches them being cruel.
Bartholomew Borax III
Bartholomew was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the summer solstice of the new millennium, just like his best friend, Alex. This blonde boy, along with Alex, is one of the prophesied Deliverers whose art protects sleeping children from the dream-invading Shadow Swine. He lives in a sterile Santa Barbara mansion with his cleaning-obsessed mother who became this way when Bartholomew’s father drowned in a mud puddle before he was born. Homeschooled by an uptight British tutor until 6th grade, he loves sculpting and reading about great friendships. But only reading can be done in the open. If his mother discovers him making art, she goes into a cleaning frenzy while crying, “Filth and nonsense.” Poor Bartholomew must hide who he truly is along with his sketches and sculptures from the arsenal of maids in his home.
Gwendolyn (Gwen) Obranovich
Gwen is Alex and Bartholomew’s skateboarding friend. She has lived with her father ever since her parents’ divorce and Mom went off to model in Europe. A jock, like her dad who runs several gyms, she keeps her red hair in two pigtails or tucked under a baseball cap. Her knees are often scraped from falling off her skateboard but you won’t catch her crying. Gwen will challenge any boy to arm-wrestle who calls her a girly-girl.
Captain Sludge is the leader of the evil Shadow Swine’s army. He lives in a cave high above the River of Lies where he can watch his minions breathe in the sulfuric acid that fuels their dream draining. Ruthless and ambitious, this hunchbacked yellow-eyed creature is the best dream-drainer in all of Subterranea, the underground realm of his people. Since he is a head shorter than most Swineys, he uses the dark slime that covers his skin like a salamander to spike his hair and appear taller. His greatest desire is to turn as many humans as possible away from art by invading dreams and turning creative thoughts into nightmares.
Lord Sickhert is the emperor of Subterranea, a cavernous underground realm beneath Artania, where he lives in a palace shaped like a mountainous stalagmite. Lacking the signature hump, he is the only albino Shadow Swine. Whenever a Shadow Swine is in his presence, they must bow before him and rub honorific spittle onto his chalky white feet. With colorless eyes he peers into the Lava Pool Gramarye to watch his subjects turn Earthlings away from art. But woe to he who fails in the attempt for within Lord Sickhert’s castle is the Correction Chamber, a torture device that sprays boiling water on Swineys.
Artania’s leader, The Thinker is a bronze sculpture whose magical hands help him see lands both near and far. When he opens his clenched fist rippling sparks roll down his hunched form through his metal arm to light up his palm as flickering images of Earth and Artania come into focus. Like a gypsy with a crystal ball, he watches over humans and Artanians alike. If a human child’s dreams are being threatened by a Shadow Swine, The Thinker can send a Knight of Painted Light to protect them. He is also the Keeper of the Prophecy, and directs mystical events to help Alex and Bartholomew fulfill their destinies.
Hygenette Alabaster Borax
The tall, willowy Hygenette Borax is Bartholomew’s cleaning obsessed mother. This pale blonde heiress of a huge cleaning empire has long loved a tidy environment but it wasn’t until her husband drowned in a mud puddle when she was pregnant with Bartholomew that her mania began. Now, she bathes at least six times a day and forces poor Bartholomew to do the same. If she sees the slightest smudge on Bartholomew’s face she cries, “Filth!” to set her maids in motion. She believes that art is foolish and dirty and forbids Bartholomew from coloring, sketching, or even playing with play-dough. If she ever found out that Bartholomew had been creating in secret she’d go into a cleaning frenzy that would make a hospital look like a garbage dump.