Caleo grew up in Northcote, where he still lives, and has six siblings. He graduated with an Arts degree from the University of Melbourne. He is married to Susan Bamford, a singer and performer, and has 2 sons. In the mid-1980s Bernard was half of the comic team "The Superballs". He works part-time at the Melbourne Museum as a public programs officer running events, performances and displays.
Comics and performance
He is the editor of Tango, a comics anthology series which has been published irregularly since 1997. He also runs Cardigan Comics, the publishing company which publishes Tango. As a comic artist, Caleo contributes to Tango, as well as producing a webcomic called "I Knew Him".
He is also the author of the comics Yell Ole!, later called False Impressionists (Bernard Caleo and Brendan Tolley, Imaginate, 1993-), Café Ghetto (Bernard Caleo and John Murphy, Santa Madonna Publications, 1998–2000), and Caleo & Khandekar's homage to Hergé : the element of surprise (Bernard Caleo and Khandekar, Polluxman, 1996). In 2009, Caleo contributed comic work to the Melbourne incarnation of Super Heroes and Schlemiels: Jews and Comic Art which appeared at the Jewish Museum of Australia in Melbourne.
The play The Great Game by Katherine Connoly played in Melbourne in 2014. He played English scientist Michael Faraday for Faraday’s Candle, a one-man show for CSIRO in 2011/12. In 2008, Caleo and collaborator Bruce Woolley wrote and performed Miracleman, a stage adaptation of the Alan Moore Marvelman comic series.
In 2012, collaborating with filmmaker Daniel Hayward, Caleo made a feature documentary called Graphic Novels! Melbourne! focussing on the long-form comics work of Nicki Greenberg, Mandy Ord, Pat Grant and Bruce Mutard. It premiered in November 2012 and at the Angoulême International Comics Festival in France in February 2013.
- Creative Fellow at the State Library of Victoria, 2014
- Melbourne Fringe Festival Award
- Platinum Ledger Award for contributions to Australian comic book culture, 2016
- Usher, Robin 2009/04/28 "Bird, plane or supermensch? Comics reveal Jewish roots" The Age
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-26.