Behind the Panels…

Behind the Panels…with Tarpe Mills

Tarpe Mills was the creator of ‘Miss Fury’, one of the best action comics, which appeared in 1941. Before coming up with this success, she had already created comic characters such as Devil’s Dust, The Cat Man, The Purple Zombie and Daredevil Barry Finn. Born June Mills, she changed her name to the more sexually ambiguous “Tarpe”, believing that the readers of her action-filled comics would be disappointed if they found out that they were created by a woman.

When her ‘Miss Fury’ became a success, however, Mills could not hide her gender and many interviews appeared, with photographs of the creator, who strongly resembled her own heroic character. She also drew her cat, Perri-Purr, into her comic, and he went on to become a bit of a war hero as he became the unofficial mascot for the Allied troops.

Tarpe Mills, who received her education at the New York’s Pratt Institute, drew her comics in a glamorous, fashionable style, paying a lot of attention to the heroine’s outfits. Sometimes these consisted of next to nothing, which at one point shocked the editors of 37 newspapers so much, that they canceled the strip that day. ‘Miss Fury’ ran until 1951. Tarpe Mills returned briefly in 1971 with ‘Our Love Story’ in Marvel Comics. She passed away in 1988.

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