Special Exits by Joyce Farmer

Special Exits
by Joyce Farmer
Fantagraphics, 2010

A harrowing reality-based graphic novel by famous underground cartoonist Farmer about the slow decline and death of her father and stepmother. People are living longer but not necessarily with a high quality of life, and this book chronicles the frustrations of looking after an elderly couple who have an atrocious diet, forget to take important medication, turn down valuable help because of pride, and the slightly horrifying and drawn-out repercussions of all this.

There’s also indifferent and incompetent medical carers to contend with, and a psychotic Siamese cat called Ching. It’s like Samuel Beckett with painkillers, and although her father remains good-natured to the end, there are few bright points and it’s a hard read.

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