Born in Los Angeles, African-American artist Stephen R. Bentley is the artist of the newspaper feature 'Herb and Jamaal'. The comic entered the press after a letter of the newspaper to cartoonists and syndicates that they wanted more blacks in newspaper comics. Bentley had already drawn the comic panel 'Navy Life' for his base newspaper while he was in the Navy. He then began freelancing, creating features like 'Squirt' (distributed by Weekly Features Syndicate) and 'Hey Coach' (for Swimming World Magazine). Bentley creates the comic 'Herb & Jamaal' from 1989 for Tribune Media Services.