REIDFORD, James G.
His first drawings were heavy grease crayon cartoons filled with labels and symbols. However, by the time of his retirement, he had evolved a new and distinct linear style that was highly lyrical and filled with his particular brand of light humour. The Hecklers, 248.
Reidford was born in Scotland in 1911, and came to Toronto as a baby with his family. He studied at the Ontario College of Art and was employed as a commercial artist in Toronto and London in the early 1930’s. He moved to Los Angeles in the U.S. in 1938 and studied at the Chouinard Institute. He worked as an animator for the Walt Disney Studios for several years.
He returned to Canada and in 1941, began working as an editorial cartoonist for the Montréal Star after the death of A. G. Racey. In 1951 he moved to the Globe & Mail where he worked till his retirement in 1972.
He won three National Newspaper Awards one each in 1950, 1956 and 1957. In 1953, he received a public interest award from the National Safety Council’s 1952 Christmas safety cartoon project. The cartoon depicted “ …the front of a car and its headlights looking back at the drinker out of a glass of liquor …”. Apparently the award was American as it is stated the award was “… in competition with 133 entries from the finest editorial cartoonists in the United States.”
In the 1950’s he illustrated at least two books, by fellow Globe & Mail employee, journalist Lex Schrag. Whether this was the extent of his work or whether he illustrated other books cannot be determined.
Content humour & Cover dust jacket front:
Mortgage Manor. Writ., Lex Schrag. Ryerson Press, 1955.
Crater Country. Writ., Lex Schrag. Ryerson Press, 1958.
The Hecklers. Writ. & Ed.., Peter Desbarats & Terry Mosher. McClelland and Stewart Ltd., 1979: 118, 248.
Globe & Mail, 17 April 1953: “Globe and Mail Cartoonist Wins National Safety Award.” 25.
Mortgage Manor: Dust jacket