Mary Tourtel (1874-1948) was an English artist and creator of Rupert Bear. She was born as Mary Caldwell and raised in an artistic family. She grew up studying art, animal drawings in particular, and became a children's book illustrator. She eventually married an editor of The Daily Express newspaper, Herbert Tourtel. Rupert Bear was created in the 1920s as the Express was in competition with The Daily Mail and its comic strips Teddy Tail, and Pip, Squeak and Wilfrid. Rupert Bear was first published as a nameless character in a strip titled Little Lost Bear in 1920. Published as two cartoons a day and a short story underneath, the strip featured a brown bear until the Express cut inking expenses and made Rupert's colour white. Tourtel retired in 1935 after her eyesight deteriorated, and the strip was continued by a Punch illustrator, Alfred Bestall.