MacLEOD John

MacLEOD John

A picture containing person, indoor, posing Description automatically generated                                      John MacLeod, 1987. Photo from John MacLeod.

“I never expected Dishman to be my most poplar work.”

“Dishman changed the course of my life. Thereafter, I didn’t think about what would sell because I had no clue about that. Instead, I thought about what tickled my fancy, and what I wanted to see, and I did that. My creations never earned me a living, but I was (and am) happy making them, and I guess that counts for something too.

From The Mundane Adventures of Dishman. January 2022: Introduction: 5.

Born in 1957 in Brantford, Ontario and grew up there going to Pauline Johnson Collegiate & Vocational School.

From the young age of 11 years he was already drawing comics copying the superhero genre. His pop culture influences came principally from television, the live action series Batman, the two animated series Jetsons, and Johnny Quest, early anime like Astro Boy, Marine Boy, and Speed Racer. He also followed the Gerry Anderson supermarionation series Stingray and Thunderbirds.

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History in 1978 and a Master of Arts in Sociology in 1985 both from Guelph university. It was while he was working on his MA that his work which included both cartoons and illustrations, appeared regularly in the Canadian Children’s Annual (see below). He was also the major contributor to the book Canada’s Monsters, producing full page drawings coloured with water colour. In Potlatch presents: The 1980 Comics Annual, he cartooned “Blarg The Swordsman” a humorous tale in the barbarian genre and “The Gauntlet of the Gods” a sword and sorcery story. He has commented that during this time he was working on a sword and sorcery graphic novel. This project has not been published.

He is best known for his creation “Dishman”. About the time he received his MA and began his doctoral work at York University, the idea came from a dream he had about a superhero who could clean dishes. He was inspired to attempt the mini-comic format by a series of articles that appeared in the Comics Journal in the 1980’s and by Chester Brown’s artistic success in the genre. He has further credited Chester as extremely helpful in answering his many questions. Ten “Dishman” minicomics appeared from August 1985 to December 1990. Its popularity caused Eclipse in 1988 to collect and publish the stories from issues 1-6. “I came I Saw I Did The Dishes” appeared in Ultra Klutz 28 April 1990. This was followed by guest appearances in The Cheese Heads (1992) and Topps Comics Satan Six (1992). Finally it has been published in a definitive volume by Black Eye Books.

Over the time he was working on “Dishman” John contributed three or four unrelated stories to other mini comics. He did “Secret Torment” a two-page story from one of Mark Burbey’s scripts which appeared in Street Music, 2, 1988. Shortly after the “Dishman series ended, he did a one-page story “Cereal” for Reactor Girl  5, October 1992.

In March 1987, he released a mini minicomic called science cruise. It was the first in an intended series which would publish random individual stories. Only one issue was published but it contains an interesting variation on the “Dishman” theme called “Pressman”. In this version when “Pressman” was born, “His hands and feet were flat and shiny like steel.” When he reached puberty, he could iron clothing. Like “Dishman” he decided to fight crime, but he never did. He was too busy ironing clothes. However, unlike “Dishman” “Pressman” is a contained story. It deals with “Pressman’s rise and fall as a celebrity. In some ways when one reads “Pressman” one is reminded of the “Mr. Canoehead” or “Captain Canada” (3) stories but there is a fundamental difference. “Pressman” expresses a sympathy for the character and has sense of poignancy in the story lacking in the stories of these other characters.

There was a hiatus. Then he did the artwork for a short story by Jason Marcy in Marcy Musings November 30, 2007. In 2010 he launched the webcomic “Space Kid” who was accompanied by “Stella” “Doc” and “Pizmo” the robot. It ran to 2018. During this interval, he did the Lilith Dark 5 June 24, 2014, cover, for Charles Dowd’s 2014 mini-series. About two years after he completed “Space Kid”, John launched “Not That Magic: Tales of Vernor Magus in April 2020. The characters include Vernor, his wife “Nellie” the apprentice “Chip” “Russ” the barbarian and a familiar “Garson” the owl. It continues to the present (2023). Again while continuing this project he has produced a one-page story as a tribute to Manny Easson in Trailblazers (2021).




Content story:

Potlatch presents The 1980 Comics Annual. Ed., Ian Carr. Potlatch Publications, 1979:           “Blarg The Swordsman”: 15-17.                                                                                         “The Gauntlet Of The Gods.” Assist., Steve LeBlanc.”: 83-90.

Trailblazers. Ed., Ivan Kocmarek. North End Books, Nov. 2021: “Alter Ego”: 21. A tribute to Manny Easson.


Content story & Cover book front:

The Mundane Adventures of Dishman. 1, September 1988. Eclipse Comics.

The Mundane Adventures of Dishman. Black Eye Books, 2022.

BOOK TEXT & GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:                                                                        All published by Potlatch Publications, Editor, Robert F. Neilson. Art Dir., Mary Tach.

Content story graphic:

Canadian Children’s Annual 1976. 1975: “A Visit To The Science Centre.”: 38-40.                     “The Magic Tale of Wog the Dragon Slater”: 159-163.

Canadian Children’s Annual, 1977.1976: “The Spell Stone Of Darian.” 21-28.                           “A Visit To The Beach”: 91-94.

Canadian Children’s Annual, 1978,1977: “A Visit To The Museum”: 53.

Canadian Children’s Annual, 1979. 1978. “A Visit to the Mall”: 119-122.

PERIODICAL GRAPHIC MINICOMIC:                                                                            All self-published by John MacLeod. Contents and cover black & white.

Content story & Cover front & back:

The Mundane Adventures Of Dishman, ….
1, August 1985.

2, April 1986.

3, Sept. 1986.

4, March 1987.

5, July 1987.

6, Dec. 1987.

7, Nov. 1988.

8, Dec. 1989.

9, March 1990.

10, Dec. 1990

PERIODICAL GRAPHIC MINI MINICOMIC:                                                                      Self-published by John MacLeod. Contents and cover black & white.

Content story & Cover front & back:

Science cruise, 1, March 1987: “Pressman”. Car., John MacLeod. Assist., Sharon Beach: 1-7. Print run 500 copies.

PERIODICAL GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:                                                                          Published by Tragedy Strikes Press. Colour cover. Black & white content.

Content story:

Reactor Girl, 5, October 1992: “Cereal”: 30.


BOOK TEXT & GRAPHIC ANTHOLOGY:                                                                        All published by Potlatch Publications, Editor, Robert F. Neilson. Art Dir., Mary Tach.


Information text:

Canadian Children’s Annual, 1979. 1978: “Money Matters.” Writ., Barbara Greenwood: 83.

Story text:

Canadian Children’s Annual, 1976. 1975:                                                                                   “Killer Sharks and Sunken Gold.” Writ., Peter Nagai: 119-124.                                           “Just Desserts.” Writ., William Ettridge. : 130-133

Canadian Children’s Annual, 1978. 1977: “Lost!”: Writ., William Ettridge: 71-72.

PERIODICAL GRAPHIC:                                                                                                  Published by Tragedy Strikes Press. Colour cover. Black & white content

Content story & Cover wraparound:

The Cheese Heads. 5, October 1992. “The Second Coming of Officer Jerry, pt. 3”: 1-29.


BOOK TEXT & GRAPHIC:                                                                                              Published by Potlatch Publications, Editor, Robert F. Neilson. Art Dir., Mary Tach.

Canada’s Monsters, 1976. Writ., Betty Sanders Garner. James Simpkins also did some of the illustrations in this book.



Email, James Waley to Robert MacMillan, 7 January 2023.

Emails, John MacLeod to Robert MacMillan, 24 January 2023 to 11 March 2023.



A telephone interview by Mel Taylor (not published) 31 March 2018.


Canada’s Monsters, 1976: 21.

A picture containing text Description automatically generatedCanada’s Monsters, 1976: 46.

The 1980 Comics Annual, 1979: 17.

A picture containing text Description automatically generatedThe 1980 Comics Annual, 1979: 90.

Diagram Description automatically generated

A picture containing diagram Description automatically generated

A picture containing calendar Description automatically generated

A picture containing text Description automatically generatedscience cruise 1, March 1987: “Pressman”: 1-7 & Front cover.

Calendar Description automatically generatedReactor Girl, 5, October 1992: “Cereal”: 30.

A picture containing text Description automatically generated“Space Kid”, “Stella”, “Doc”’ & Pizmo”. “Space Kid” webcomic, circa 2010-2018.

Text Description automatically generated“Space Kid” webcomic 21 January2018.

A picture containing text, book Description automatically generatedLilith Dark, 5, 24 June 2014: Front cover.

A black and white drawing of a person with a mustache Description automatically generated with medium confidenceFront “Nellie”, & “Vernor Magus”. Back “Chip” & “Russ”. “Not That Magic” webcomic, 11 October 2021.

Diagram Description automatically generatedLeft to right, “Vernor, “Nellie”, “Russ” & “Chip”. Above, “Garson”. “Not That Magic”, 21 March 2022

A picture containing logo Description automatically generated“Not That Magic” webcomic circa April 2020 -2023.


John MacLeod self portrait, 2022.