Nom de plume: “Ric”.
Born 1902 in Fort William now called Thunder Bay Ontario.
He studied at the Central Technical School (Toronto), the Ontario College of Art and The Los Angeles School of Art and Design. He got into cartooning when he won a contest sponsored by the Evening Telegram. They carried his cartoon strip for about a year.
He freelanced as a commercial artist for a while. In 1927, he joined the staff of Goblin a Toronto based humour magazine. According to Dave Rosen, this was where he honed his skills as a cartoonist, drawing in a variety of styles. As the Depression began, the Goblin ceased operations. Richard returned to freelancing illustrations and to painting which he had studied earlier.
He began drawing cartoons for left wing publications in Toronto, notably The Worker a weekly newspaper published by the Communist Party of Canada. For The Worker he created the cartoon strip “Dad Plugg”. Rosen described his work as “… clean, well designed and, … possessed a humour and freshness that set it apart from what most other cartoonists in the field were doing.”
In 1935 New Yorker magazine used one of his cartoons and he soon became a regular for that publication. In 1936, he left Canada for the U.S. where he had a long successful career as a gag cartoonist and illustrator. Notably in the 1950’s, he produced cover illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post.
He died in 1970.
Content collection essay:
Newton MacTavish’s Canada. Writ., Newton MacTavish. Baxter Publishing Co., 1963.
The Hecklers. Writ. & Ed.., Peter Desbarates & Terry Mosher. McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 1979: “Taylor ”: 251.
“Drawing The Line: Radical Cartoonists of the Thirties.” Writ., David Rosen. This was a sample chapter for a proposed book on cartoonists who worked partially or completely for alternative publications.
David Rosen to Robert MacMillan 28 July 2019.
See DAD PLUGG