June Tarpé Mills (February 25, 1912 or 1918 – December 12, 1988) was the pseudonym of comic book creator June Mills, one of the first major female comics artists. She is best known for her action comic strip, Miss Fury, the first female action hero created in America (predating Wonder Woman by six months).
Life and Career
Born June Tarpé Mills, she signed her work by her middle name “Tarpé” to conceal her gender. She received her education at the Pratt Institute in New York. Mills created several action comics characters: Devil’s Dust, The Cat Man, The Purple Zombie and Daredevil Barry Finn, before creating her most remembered character, Miss Fury, in 1941.
The Miss Fury comic strip began April 6, 1941. A character based loosely on Mills’ own appearance, the artwork was created in a glamorous style with considerable attention placed on the heroine’s outfits. As the strip became more popular, it eventually became public knowledge its creator was a woman. Timely Comics, predecessor to Marvel Comics, reprinted the Sunday strips in comic book form from 1942 to 1946. Miss Fury ran until 1952, when Tarpé Mills mostly retired from the comics industry, though she briefly returned in 1971 with Our Love Story for Marvel Comics. She died in 1988.
- Amazing Man Comics (1939) #5
- "The Coming of Cat-Man"
- Funny Pages (1936) vol.3, no.9
- Miss Fury (1941-1952)
- Our Love Story (1969) #14
- "Model With a Broken Heart"
- Prize Comics (1940) #1
- "Birth of a Barnstormer"
- "The Rescue of Lt. Andre"
- Salon.com article, July 25, 2011. (Retrieved July 26, 2011).
View Tarpé Mills's memorial at Find-A-Grave.
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