Mike Dringenberg

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Mike Dringenberg
Born Laon, France
Nationality American
Area(s) Penciller, Inker
Notable works
The Sandman

Mike Dringenberg (born c. 1965) is a German/American comic book artist best known for his work on DC/Vertigo's Sandman series with writer Neil Gaiman after original artist Sam Kieth's departure.


Dringenberg was born in Laon, France.[1] Dringenberg's earliest work was in independent comics in the 1980s for publishers such as Eclipse and Vortex, including Enchanter, Alien Worlds, Total Eclipse and Kelvin Mace.[1] He also worked on Adolescent Radioactive Blackbelt Hamsters (a parody of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which itself was a parody of many current comic books), and Shock the Monkey. 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.

Death, from The Sandman #8, drawn by Mike Dringenberg

Dringenberg came to prominence for his work on The Sandman, where he started as series' inker (over pencil art by Sam Kieth) but switched to pencilling when Kieth left after the fifth issue.[2] 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' creators, as he is responsible for the iconic representation of many of the principal characters.

He is currently an illustrator of book jackets and CD covers, most notably for various books by J.R.R. Tolkien, Kij Johnson, Charles de Lint, Kage Baker, and San Francisco's Big City Orchestra. He also did interior decorations for Sharyn November's Firebirds Soaring (2009).


  1. ^ a b Mike Dringenberg at Lambiek's Comiclopedia
  2. ^ Tousley, Nancy (October 12, 1991). "Artist draws a 'cinema for the page'", Calgary Herald, p. B9.