From The Sandman Companion:
According to Gaiman, the initial visual design of Death was based on a friend of Dringenberg's named Cinnamon.
Gaiman: "Death is the only major character whose visuals didn't spring from me; that credit goes to Mike Dringenberg. In
my original Sandman outline, I suggested Death look like rock star Nico in 1968, with the perfect cheekbones and
perfect face she has on the cover of her Chelsea Girl album.
"But Mike Dringenberg had his own ideas, so he sent me a drawing based on a woman he knew named Cinnamon —
the drawing that was later printed in Sandman 11 — and I looked at it and had the immediate reaction of, "Wow. That's
really cool." Latter that day, Dave McKean and I went to dinner in Chelsea at the My Old Dutch Pancake House and the
waitress who served us was a kind of vision. She was American, had long black hair, was dressed entirely in black —
black jeans, T-shirt, etc. — and wore a big silver ankh on a silver necklace. And she looked exactly like Mike
Dringenberg's drawing of Death."
McKean also used a series of professional English models for representations of Death on covers of Sandman. 
Despite some rumors, Death is not based on Gaiman's friend Tori Amos. Rather, Delirium is.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Mike Dringenberg's early comic work appeared in Enchanter, Alien Worlds, Total Eclipse, and Kelvin Mace. He was born
in Laon, France, and currently resides in Bountiful, Utah. Dringenberg is probably best known for his artwork on the
series 'The Sandman', and he also did art work for the card game, Magic: The Gathering.
Dringenberg was initially the series's inker (over pencil art by Sam Kieth) but switched to pencilling when Kieth left after
the fifth issue. He drew eleven issues, all but one inked by Malcolm Jones III, and his understated, realistic style did
much to establish the tone of the series. He co-created the popular character Death, whom he based on Cinnamon, a
girl he knew from the dance clubs in Salt Lake City, Utah (Gaiman had imagined her looking like Louise Brooks or Nico,
but ultimately preferred Dringenberg's version). He also co-created Desire, basing his/her appearance on the work of
Patrick Nagel, and had a hand in much of the character design apparent in the early series.
Dringenberg's work appears in the Sandman collections Preludes and Nocturnes, The Doll's House and Season of
Mists. He is credited in every printing as being one of the series's creators, as he is responsible for the iconic
representation of many of the principal characters.
His earliest work was in independent comics, including Adolescent Radioactive Blackbelt Hamsters (a parody of
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which itself was a parody of many current comic books), Enchanter, Alien Worlds, Total
Eclipse, Shock the Monkey and Kelvin Mace. His mainstream work includes DC's Doom Patrol with writer Grant Morrison
(where he co-created Flex Mentallo), the fantasy card game Magic: The Gathering, and White Wolf Publishing's card
game Vampire: The Eternal Struggle.
He is currently a popular illustrator of book jackets and CD covers, most notably for various books by J.R.R. Tolkien, Kij
Johnson, Kage Baker, and San Francisco's Big City Orchestra.
Death first appeared in the final chapter of Sandman’s first story arc Preludes
and Nocturnes, "The Sound of Her Wings," where she gave Dream direction
and a degree of understanding. Death instantly became very popular to readers
However, Gaiman attempted to entice and tease readers by rationing-out the
number of appearances from Dream’s family so Death did not appear as
frequently as one might expect for such a popular character. At the end of the
ninth Sandman story arc The Kindly Ones, there is a lengthy and noteworthy
appearance from Death, in which she finally brings her brother peace.
Death's friend,Skarah - Thursday April 14, 2005
I know for a fact that Donna was not the model for Death. Number one,I know the model, Cinnamon, for Neil's used for
the character and one in particular that was used in the hardcover. I also have other pics from over the years. Second,I
have met and talked with Neil and he knows Cinnamon as well. I talk to her on a weekly basis and she was I know for a
fact that Donna was not the model for Death. Number one,I know the model, Cinnamon, for Neil's something that can
not only be proven by friends and pictures but by the creators of Death,themselves? I really think it's interpretation of
Death. She has been a friend of mine for years and I have the copies of the pictures Mike Dringenberg sad and you
loose credibilty with others. I've always wanted to talk to you in the past. I try not to listen to gossip since I cannot stand
backstabbers any longer,but this is something I know is not true of you. I didn't get my information from this cannot stand
backstabbers any longer,but this is something I know is not true of you. I didn't get my information from this site but from
yours. Many people may make up shit about you all the time and it could all be lies. I don't know.......but this is something
I know, without a doubt,is not true about you. Proving yourself to be a liar made me think less of you.
Donna Ricci's Claim to DEATH:
Donna Ricci: "Gothic Supermodel"
Since 2005 she has been making the
claim that she was the original model
The interview with Neil Gaiman has information about model Donna Ricci who claimed in an interview in Bite Me!
magazine, issue #5 that she was the model for the character of Death in Neil Gaiman's comic series Sandman.
Neil says this: "I'm afraid you fell for that Donna Ricci person's fibs about being involved in Sandman. For the record, I've
never met her, nor have any of the artists, none of the Sandman covers she has up on her website are actually
photographs of her (they're mostly very expensive London fashion models that Dave McKean hired,
and obviously not her)."
Materials: ceramic cup/saucer, toy
gun, hand-pounded typewriter text,
various collage, empty shells, etc.
on Display at:
1333 Park Avenue
|Sketch done for
Salt Lake City
THE DOLL'S HOUSE
Magick: The Gathering
THE DOLL'S HOUSE
THE DOLL'S HOUSE
|Picture on wall Signed by:
Mike & Cinnamon at:
in Austin, Texas
In Endless Nights (2003) Gaiman shows Death several billion years ago, with a markedly different personality—
forbidding and joyless. She also appears in The Books of Magic (first volume, 1991, also written by Gaiman) at the very
end of time, where her function is to set things in order and close the universe up. John Ney Rieber included her in The
Books of Magic (vol. 2 #3-4), in which she lets Timothy Hunter hang out at her house and hold her teddy bear, filled with
Keith Giffen used the character in several mainline DC stories, including Ambush Bug Nothing Special #1, a brief cameo
in Lobo's Back #3, in which she slaps Lobo for getting fresh with her, and she comes to take Superboy in the retconned-
out Legion of Super-Heroes Vol. 4, #38.
Other personifications of Death have appeared in the DC Universe. In Captain Atom #42 (also by Giffen) Death appears
alongside Black Racer of the New Gods and Nekron (a "god of death" from Green Lantern). The story stated that all
three were equal, representing different aspects of death. Gaiman has refuted this, however, and his stories make it
clear that Death of the Endless is the ultimate personification of Death. It might be assumed, however, Nekron, the
Racer, and the Black Flash are connected to her in some way. A more traditional version of Death appeared as host in
such DC titles such as Weird Mystery Tales, House of Secrets, Ghosts, Weird War Tales (including being in the story in
issue #94) etc. How this pre-Crisis Death relates to Gaiman's Death, if at all, is unclear, although her older brother
Destiny appeared with the character.
Death made an appearance in the Marvel Universe, at the wedding of Rick Jones and Marlo Chandler in an issue of The
Incredible Hulk (handing Rick a hair brush, the joke being Rick's constant 'brushes with death'). However, this was
probably only the Death of the Marvel Universe assuming a form more appropriate for the occasion, rather than an
actual appearance by the DC version.
|Would you like to submit a comment
about this artist?:
The Gothic Supermodel who used to pad her
being the original model for Death, and also
had the various covers up on her website
claiming they were her, but seems now to
have been shamed into taking them down,
longer lists anything to do with Sandman or
Death or Dave McKean on her resume.
Death has also been featured in two limited series, Death: The High Cost of Living (1993), and Death: The Time of Your
Life (1996). Both were written by Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Bachalo and dealt with Death’s encounters with
various mortals. The 2003 manga-style graphic novel Death At Death's Door portrayed Death’s activities during the
fourth Sandman story arc Season of Mists. It was written and illustrated by Jill Thompson and may be part of a series.
Death has also made occasional appearances in other DC comic books.
Located in Sugarhouse Utah
is the nightclub that Mike and
|-The Hollywood Apartments-
-AKA- "The Kill Pigs Apts."
It was here in Cinnamon's basement
apartment that Mike did the first
preliminary sketches of DEATH.
|This is a bad copy of a copy of a
sketch Mike did for me in 1988.
It was for a tattoo I was going to get on
my right arm. Unfortunately the original
was stolen before I could have the