I spoke to Neil about this back in 1998 when I originally saw the photos. I’m glad he’s made a public statement on Nancy Kilpatrick’s website about Donna Ricci’s claims to being a model for the Sandman covers. She was apparently hired by Vertigo to play Death at ComiCon or a similar convention, but that was the extent of it.
“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).”
He told me back in 1998 he wasn’t going to say anything. I’m glad he said something eventually, though. And, for what it’s worth, I don’t think she makes this claim at all any more (at least, not on her personal website), but it’s still out there like a virus in people’s heads and in only slightly aged publications.
I think I mentioned it before, but I do love Nancy Kilpatrick’s The goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined. She’s done such a tremendous job of pulling together so much information about a subculture that means so many things to different people. If you’re even thinking about getting it, do. I give it two black lacey thumbs up.