LiaDelFresco
Posted by

Art HERstory: June Tarpé Mills


A "Miss Fury" comic cover. Patent leather never looked so good. Rawr!
A “Miss Fury” comic cover. Patent leather never looked so good. Rawr!

Now you ladies know I’m all about chicks making ish happen. In a male dominated society, we have a lot more obstacles to overcome to reach success. Some women do it using their ASSets while others do it the legit way. Either way it’s a hustle with a major payoff in the end (hopefully). June Tarpé Mills made her mark on the world. No boobs necessary.

An early sketch of Miss Fury. The lady had style!
An early sketch of Miss Fury. The lady had style!

June was born in 1915, in the midst of the first World War. Men were leaving to defend the country, so women were being appointed to roles of power. Although the positions were temporary, women’s time to shine was well overdue. June seized the moment and carried the message of girl power with her throughout life.

Outside of the catsuit, Miss Fury was a fashionable gal. Loving the white suit!
Outside of the catsuit, Miss Fury was a fashionable gal. Loving the white suit!
A talented cartoonist (and quite a savvy businesswoman), June began to draw and market her own cartoons. She was well aware that her work may not be received well by all if readers knew she was a woman. To avoid the backlash of sexism and gender barriers, June chose to sign her work with her middle name. Before becoming a cartoonist full time, June completed her studies at the Pratt Institute in New York. After graduation, she bumrushed the scene.

Miss Fury had it all: Brain, brawn, and boobs.
Miss Fury had it all: Brain, brawn, and boobs.

Miss Fury, the most popular of Mills’ characters, came to life in 1941. Fury laid the groundwork for future female superheroes. The patent leather warrior spawned the likes of similar characters such as Catwoman and Batgirl. Believe it or not, Miss Fury was the first female superhero drawn by a woman. Cool huh?  The comic proved to be so cool and praiseworthy that Marvel published and re-released the original Miss Fury comics in the 1970s.

In this particular strip, June makes the leading lady look quite Madonna-ish. Lace jammies and a cigarette? Bad ass.
In this particular strip, June makes the leading lady look quite Madonna-ish. Lace jammies and a cigarette? Bad ass.
Women were put on this planet to do more than cook, clean, and give birth. Mills proved that we could even delve into a male dominated industry and handle our own pretty well.  Tarpé retired Miss Fury in 1952 and came back to do work for Marvel in 1971. She worked on a new project, Our Love Story, until she died in 1988.

Image Layout: Phaymiss

Marvel Comics re-released the "Miss Fury" comics in 1971 to honor June. Congrats!
Marvel Comics re-released the “Miss Fury” comics in 1971 to honor June. Congrats!

Similar Posts:

Comments are closed.

Facebook Twitter Flickr Flickr