Overnight I read, in two sittings, Joyce Farmer's Special Exits. This is a graphic novel (or memoir, though the names are changed) about Farmer's father and stepmother who grow old together, deteriorate, and die.
Okay, maybe it doesn't. But it really is, and not in a heartwarming, sage-elders-teach-philosophy manner. It's honest, and revealing, and unromantic. It's messy. And it is unrelentingly real: this is how it is, or, at least, this is how it was for Joyce Farmer and even if the specifics vary, there is much here to help prepare all of us for the inevitable.
Joyce Farmer was a pioneering feminist cartoonist, and her pen-and-ink work has an old-school quality. There's none of the modern techniques of comic-making here, no varying frame sizes, nothing but story conveyed in a straightforward manner. And all of Farmer's characters and spaces have depth -- the furniture has cat hair, the garages are filled with boxes, and the humans are complex and frustrating. Here's a sample: