Comic Book Cats, number 47: Miss Fury #1
Comic Book Cats, number 47: Miss Fury #1 written & drawn by Tarpe Mills, published by Timely / Marvel Comics in December 1942, and “The Ivy Menace” from Amazing Man Comics #6, published by Centaur Publications in October 1939.
Thank you to Mitchell Brown for reminding me of Golden Age creator Tarpe Mills, and for forwarding me the page from Amazing Man Comics.
June Tarpe Mills was one of the earliest female comic book creators. Her most lasting contribution to the medium is Miss Fury, the first female superhero created by a woman. Miss Fury was a beautiful socialite Marla Drake, who wore a skintight black catsuit to fight criminals and Nazis in a newspaper adventure strip that ran from April 1941 to December 1951. The strip was a mix of costumed heroics, war stories, pulpy adventures, and soap opera. Marla would only occasionally wear her costume; the majority of the time the glamorous gal was clad in one fashionable ensemble after another. This was undoubtedly inspired by Mills’ own experiences as a model and a fashion illustrator. Marla Drake had a definite resemblance to her creator. Likewise, Marla’s fluffy white cat Peri Purr was modeled after Mills’ real-life cat of the same name.
The fist several years of the Miss Fury comic strip were reprinted by Timely Comics in a comic book that ran for eight issues. On the first two pages, taken from the first issue of Miss Fury, we see an enemy spy roughly attempting to retrieve a secret metal-disintegrating formula that has come into Marla’s possession. Peri Purr leaps to the rescue by tripping the spy and clawing up his face. Good kitty!
On our other page, from a sci-fi/horror back-up story in Amazing Man Comics, we have Professor Hampton working on a formula to cause miracle plant growth. Unfortunately, his energetic pet cat swipes at a butterfly, knocking over the formula and causing disaster! Bad kitty!
These pages definitely demonstrate Tarpe Mills’ beautiful, detailed art style, as well as her talent for rendering cats.
Amazing Man Comics #6 can be read on the Comic Book Plus website. Please check out the other links for more info on Tarpe Mills…