"Everybody, at one time or another, wishes they had a double that could do the things that they could never do. So what I do with alter egos is I tell my friends, 'You can be anybody you want, you can do anything you want in my town.'" — Mark Hogancamp
Mark began fashioning dolls into the likenesses of people he knew early on in the creation of Marwencol. One of the first people he based a doll character on (besides himself) was Colleen, a neighbor on whom Mark had a crush after his injury. Another was modeled after a woman named Wendy, who tended bar at the restaurant where Mark worked. These three characters were the basis for the town’s name: Mar(k)Wen(dy)Col(leen). Mark made a special building for Colleen’s doll, called “Pocket Full of Posies.” Wendy’s doll became the proprietor of “Wendy Lee’s Kitchen,” where townsfolk could always get a hearty meal. Mark’s doll runs the always rambunctious Hogancamp’s Bar and Catfight Club (aka “The Ruined Stocking”).
Meet the primary characters in the never-ending saga of life in Marwencol.
Mark “Hogie” Hogancamp, U.S. Army Captain
Hogie is an Army pilot flying a mission over China when he is shot down. For reasons even he doesn’t understand, his plane crash-lands in Belgium. As Hogie staggers from the wreckage to seek shelter, he stumbles upon a seemingly abandoned town which has recently been ransacked by German soldiers. Every man in the town has been killed, their bodies littering the streets. Realizing he’s an American soldier, the surviving women of Marwencol emerge from hiding. Hogie becomes the protector of the womenfolk of Marwencol, and establishes the town as a peaceful place where Germans, Belgians, Americans, and Russians can coexist in relative harmony.
Anna, Traffic Sergeant, Russian Army; Russian Princess
Anna’s true identity is Princess of Russia, the daughter of the King and Queen of Russia. Her parents sent her into hiding as the war approached, fearing a coup. Anna enlisted in the Russian Army and was deployed to the European front, eventually stumbling upon Marwencol where she met — and fell for — Hogie. She is now Hogie’s wife.
Deja Thoris, The Belgian Witch of Marwencol
The blue-haired, jealous Deja is thousands of years old, the child of a sorcerer and a witch. In about 700 B.C., she met a prior incarnation of Hogie and fell in love; she has been chasing him through time ever since. Her supernatural abilities are actuated through a time machine and a magical pair of gloves. Without these, she has no power. Although she attempted to win Hogie’s love repeatedly by protecting him from Nazis and bringing him back to life on multiple occasions, Hogie’s heart belongs to Anna.
Mark Hogancamp, The Giant of Marwencol
Mark Hogancamp is the alter ego of, well, Mark Hogancamp, the creator of Marwencol. He is 6 times the size of the dolls who populate the town. He rescued poor heartbroken Deja from her well of loneliness and married her. Deja, when she is with Giant Mark, is also human-sized. When Deja is full-sized, she does not possess any magical powers (the tiny magic gloves don’t fit). Together they adopted a daughter, Hayden, known as the Ghost of Marwencol.