The last grains trickle through the glass, a pen is set down, perhaps a soft sigh is heard. And with a strange sense of waking as if from some elusive, intangible dream, one of the most significant, closely followed and highly praised chapters in the history of comics draws to an all-too-soon but triumphant close. THE SANDMAN, Neil Gaiman’s critically acclaimed and award-winning series, has consistently challenged and sparked the imagination of readers throughout the world. With compelling, multileveled storytelling and an unprecedented diversity of artistic styles, THE SANDMAN became the flagship title of DC’s Vertigo imprint. Now Gaiman’s poetic, personal exploration of the human condition and the lives touched by the eerie power of Dream concludes its 7-year run with #75, “The Tempest.” Illustrated by Charles Vess (Gaiman’s collaborator on the World Fantasy Award-winning “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” from #19), “The Tempest” tells the final tale of the Sandman as Morpheus collects the last part of the debt owed to him by William Shakespeare. With dramatic interludes on a mysterious island, along with monsters, sprites, gods, maidens, apparitions and certain observations on English weather, “The Tempest” brings long-promised closure to what Steve Erickson in the Los Angeles Times Magazine described as “the best monthly comic book in the world.” THE SANDMAN #75 is an extra-sized issue with a special 4-color, bound-in gatefold poster featuring art from the original cover of THE DOLL’S HOUSE trade paperback by Dave McKean one one side, and a commemorative time-line on the other. The issue also includes 2 ‘farewell’ text pages by Gaiman. Cover by Dave McKean. Suggested for Mature Readers. Cover price $3.95.