In the first half of the 20th century, women cartoonists could be found in America's newspapers, but Tarpé Mills was one of the few who drew adventure comics, and the only one who drew a costumed superheroine. The Miss Fury Sunday newspaper strip ran from 1941 until 1952 and had millions of readers, among them GIs who painted the beautiful action heroine on the nosecones of their bombers. Miss Fury was known as much for its sexy men as for its sexy women, and for the lurid stories featuring both!
Miss Fury : Sensational Sundays 1944—1949
Edited and with an Introduction by Trina Robbins
Designed by Lorraine Turner
2012 EISNER AWARD NOMINEE!!!
Catfights and crossdressers, mad scientists and Gestapo agents with swastika-branding irons-it's one lurid and exciting adventure after another in this lavish, full-color collection of the first female superhero created and drawn by a woman. Miss Fury was a sexy adventurer clad in a skin-tight panther costume-complete with sharp claws on her hands and her feet!
By day, she was socialite Marla Drake. By night...Miss Fury.
The strip was populated by a cast of memorable characters who were connected to each other by far less than six degrees of separation and whose paths were interwoven like a complicated tapestry. They include:
The one-armed general Bruno, a
Rommel-esque figure who is a German patriot, but plots to overthrow
the Nazi party.
Marla's recurring nemesis, the Baroness Erica Von Kampf, her platinum blonde bangs cut into a V-shape to cover the swastika that was branded on her forehead.
Gary Hale, the all-American man who doesn't necessary marry the right woman.
Albino Jo, a Harvard-educated, loincloth-wearing albino Indian in the Brazilian jungle who resurfaces a year later as a pipe-smoking criminologist dressed in a well-tailored suit.
Whiffy, a French transvestite smuggler of stolen European art!
Miss Fury's friend Era, who falls for one of two seemingly young and handsome men who actually are 200 years old, and have been drinking an elixir to stay young!
Eisner- and Harvey-nominated writer and historian Trina Robbins has chosen the best Miss Fury stories for this oversized collection, which also features a biographical essay about Tarpé Mills that places her within the history of women cartoonists, and includes pages from an unpublished and unfinished Miss Fury graphic novel by Mills from 1979.
June 2011. Oversized 9.25" x 12" hardcover with dustjacket. 240 pp, $49.99.
June Tarpe Mills (1915-1988) had been a fashion model and illustrator and contributed minor strips such as The Purple Zombie and Daredevil Barry Finn to comic books for two years when the much more successful Miss Fury made its debut in national newspapers in 1941, beating Wonder Woman to the punch by eight months. From the beginning, Mills signed her comics with her sexually ambiguous middle name because, as she said in a newspaper interview, “It would have been a major let-down to the kids if they found out that the author of such virile and awesome characters was a gal.”