Paul, if I had to suggest any graphic novels/comics collections, I would go with any of the following:
-Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns
-Uncanny X-Men: Dark Phoenix Saga
-Alan Moore's Watchmen
The last of those isn't politically or socially driven (so to speak), but it isn't your typical light superhero reading. Come to think of it, all three of those aren't really typical for comics these days or back then, but all are well worth reading. The former two are probably the best comic series or story arcs that have ever been done, IMHO, and the third is just incredible to read.
Movies...I have always found that the one film that cheers me up more than anything else is "Airplane!" The best news is that you can find it at just about any Wal-Mart for about 8 dollars on DVD. Very funny film, and it's one that I could watch over and over. Also, "The Big Lebowski" is another 10 dollar or so DVD at Target these days and very very funny as well.
Books...Most of the fiction I read is probably not what you'd be looking for, but I am always willing to pimp Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" (absolutely brilliant and my favorite novel of all time), and Chuck Barris's "unauthorized autobiography" "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" and the follow-up "Bad Grass Never Dies." There is a movie of the former which, while very good, is blown away by the book. Plus, both books have a lot of laughs and a lot of mystery in them, so you might like the change of pace within a single book that they have.
Most importantly, I hope that the surgery goes well for you. Do keep us updated as to how you're doing.