Making comics

I have been making comics since 1990 when my friend Tolley and I collaborated on a comedy adventure comic series set in Melbourne. Since then I have made many comic books, online and in print, solo and in collaboration.

from The False Impressionists #2 by Tolley and Caleo
From Flaneur #1 by Bernard Caleo, a fantasy on the films of Tacita Dean exhibited as part of a Melbourne Festival


from Cafe Ghetto #3 by John Murphy and Bernard Caleo


From 1997 to 2009 I edited and published the giant romance comics anthology Tango. In 2009 the Australian book publisher Allen and Unwin published The Tango Collection, selecting work from the first eight issues. In 2017 Tango will be the subject of a display within the State Library of Victoria’s exhibition about the history of the book, ‘The Mirror of the World’.


In 2013-2014, historian Alex McDermott and I were awarded a Creative Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria to begin research on a graphic novel history project called The Devil Collects. This story is an account of the decline and fall of Marvellous Melbourne, 1887 – 1893. Currently (2017) Alex and I have been awarded funding from Creative Victoria and The Copyright Agency to continue work on this project.

below: the statue of Burke and Wills, in its old spot on Spring Street, commenting on the fortunes of the great and the good of Marvellous Melbourne, who are inside the Princess Theatre on the night of 3 March 1888 watching a production of Gounod’s opera Faust.

In 2015  ‘Graphic Shakespeare’, a 20-page collaboration with La Trobe University Shakespeare specialist Rob Conkie was published as a chapter in Rob’s book Writing Performative Shakespeares (Cambridge University Press).

below: Enobarbus on the mean streets of Adelaide

Also in 2015, with Erica Wagner and Elizabeth MacFarlane, I launched Twelve Panels Press, a graphic novel publishing project. Our first publication was a translation into English from German of Jan Bauer’s graphic novel The Salty River, an account of his long walk along the Larapinta Trail (and beyond) in the Northern Territory.