Born in Toronto, 23 November 1923, he attended Danforth Technical School where he studied art. Later he attended the Ontario College of Art. At age fifteen he developed his first overhead projector and started working as an illustrator. This projector would eventually become an important part of a stand-up comedy routine he would develop.

In late 1941, Leo Bachle as a sixteen year old high school student encountered John Ezrin, Bell Feature’s major financial backer. Apparently Ezrin saw Bachle browsing through some Bell comic books and asked him what he thought of them. Bachle’s reply caused Ezrin to challenge him to draw an action scene depicting to men fighting. Ezrin was sufficiently impressed with the result to invite Bachle to dream up a comic book character and bring his idea to Bell Features the next day. That night Bachle created a new “Johnny Canuck” which bore a striking resemblance to Bachle and the next day he joined Bell Features. This was not unusual. As Dingle stated in an interview they would go through many submissions from youngsters and if they saw a spark they would attempt to fan it into flame.

During his time at Bell Features, Bachle created “Johnny Canuck”, “Wild Bill”, “The Brain” and “The Invisible Commando” until in 1943 he left Bell Features and went to Famous Funnies in New York City to do “Terry Temple and South Paw” and “Lawman”. He went to Timely Comics and worked on International Comics.

In the late 1940’s, in his twenties he left comic books and while remaining in illustration worked on a stand-up comedy act and started appearing in night clubs and theatres. In this act he drew cartoons which were projected onto a screen as he spoke. In this new role he changed his name to Les Barker. He moved into television guesting as the “Gulf Man” on a “Wayne and Shuster” ad., coffee taster for Maxwell House coffee, scientist on Johnson Wax and mystery shopper on a Bill Shatner Loblaws commercial.

In 1977 he was given his first three week booking on the Norwegian Caribbean Line. This stretched out to ten years. For seven years he entertained audiences with a one man show on the cruise ship, the SS Norway at that time the world’s largest cruise ship. He retired back to Toronto in the 1980’s where he died May 2003.





Content serial:

Johnny Canuck. Ed., Rachel Richey. Rachel Richey, 2015.

PERIODICAL GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:                                                                          All published by Bell Features & Publishing. Colour covers. Black & white interiors.

Content serial:

Active Comics … no date except where given: “ The Brain ….” ….
1, Feb. 1942: “… The Man With The Psychic Mind”: 50-64.

2, Mar. 1942: “…”: 53-64.

3: “… and the Mummy Man”: 1-14.

4: “…The Return of the Mummy Man!”:18-28.

5: “…Canada At War”: 18-28.

Active Comics … no date: “The Brain”: …
6: 18-28. 7: 18-27. 8: 19-26. 9: 20-28. 10: 10-18. 11: 28-36.

Active Comics, 12, no date: “Another Adventure Of The Brain”: 26-34.

Active Comics … no date: “The Brain”: ….
13: 41-49. 14: 19-27. 15: 47-55. 16: 24-32. 17: 13-21.


Active Comics, 18, n.d.: “The Brain.” Car., unidentified probably Leo Bachle: 9-12.

Active Comics … no date: “The Brain”: ….
19: “…”: 7-15.

20: “…”: 42-48.

21: “…vs. The Fox, pt. 1”: 37-43.

22: “…vs. The Fox, pt. 2.” 36-41.

Active Comics … no date: “Chip Pipher”: ….
18: 31-34. 19: 47-50. 20:42-45.
Active Comics … no date: “Thunderfist”: ….
13: 1-9.

14: 31-39.

15: 12-20.

16: 42-48.

17: 42-48.

18: 37-43.

19: 35-41.

20: 13-19

21: 14-19.

22: 11-16.

Dime Comics … no date: “Johnny Canuck”….
9: 35-41.
Dime Comics … no date: “Wild Bill”: ….
10: 19-24.



Cover front:

Active Comics, 3, n.d.

Active Comics,16, n.d. “Thunderfist.”



Content contest:

Active Comics, 18, no date: “The Brain Contest.” Writ. & Illus., Leo Bachle. 6. :


Article book:

Guardians of the North: The National Superhero in Canadian Comic-Book Art. Writ., John Bell. National Archives of Canada, 1992. A catalogue for the exhibit of the same name.

Johnny Canuck. Ed., Rachel Richey. Rachel Richey, “Leo Bachle: The Real Johnny Canuck.” Writ., Robert Pincomb: 2015.

Article periodical:

Dime Comics, 10, no date: “Pen Portraits”: 33.

Now and Then Times, 1 -2, Oct. 1973: “A conversation with Adrian and Pat Dingle and Bill Thomas.” Writ., Dave Sim: 27+.


Globe and Mail, 23 October 1982: “Whatever Happened to …?” Writ., Peter Harris: Fanfare 7.


Interview with Leo Bachle .


Leo Bachle Pen PortraitDime Comics, 10: 33.