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Go to the "Beyond the Funnies" website


Leo Bachle (Johnny Canuck)

Leo Bachle was born in Toronto and was educated at Danforth Technical School and the Ontario College of Art. Late in 1941, while a student at Danforth Tech, Bachle was recruited, to work for the Toronto comics publisher Bell Features. In February 1942, Bachle's national superhero, Johnny Canuck, made his debut in Bell's Dime Comics. During the next two years, Bachle would also create a number of other heroes, such as Wild Bill, the Brain and the Invisible Commando.
Bachle's talents were eventually recognized by several American comic book companies, who lured him to New York in 1944. In the 1950s, Bachle left the comics field and became a night-club entertainer, changing his name to Les Barker. He has since appeared in numerous movies and television commercials. Today, Barker looks back fondly on those years when he entertained a generation of Canadian kids (and himself) with the exploits of Canada's second national superhero. In 1995 Canada Post commemorated Johnny Canuck in its Superheroes/Superhéros stamp issue.


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