Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Female Fury 

Wednesday, Nov 16 2011
Like Dale Messick, whose creation Brenda Starr, Reporter ran from 1940 to January of this year, June Tarpé Mills understood that having an identifiably feminine name would work against her in the world of adventure comics. So she dropped June, became Tarpé Mills, and drew. Her heroine Miss Fury may not have been the first female superhero in print (the rather obscure Woman in Red and totally bizarre Red Tornado are more likely to claim that honor) but she was the first conceived and drawn by a woman – and it showed. By day, Miss Fury was known as gorgeous socialite Marla Drake. A former fashion illustrator, Mills brought painstaking attention to Drake’s clothes and coif -- including copious lingerie. During World War II, GIs painted the heroine on the nosecones of their aircraft, and Perri-Purr (Drake’s comic cat, which was based on Mills’own feline) became the unofficial mascot for allied troops. While occasionally damned by Catholic crusaders for skimpy attire (it must be said, Miss Fury’s skintight panther suit was demure compared with the garb of new arrivals such as Wonder Woman and Phantom Lady) it did nothing to slow down her torrid adventures. Trina Robbins has gathered the best of this work into a beautiful tome called Tarpe Mills and Miss Fury. Robbins, a female comic creator, expert, and champion, also introduces us to Baroness Erica Von Kampf, a blonde bombshell with a swastika branded on her forehead, and Whiffy, a cross-dressing gangster with a zealous penchant for perfume.
Thu., Nov. 17, 7 p.m., 2011

About The Author

Silke Tudor

Related Locations


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"