Neil Bennett ("NB") was born in Warsop, Nottinghamshire, on 13 January 1941, the son of Stanley Bennett, a headmaster. Bennett attended Brunts Grammar School, Mansfield, from 1952 to 1959, when he went to read English at King's College, London. After graduating in 1962 Bennett taught English for twenty-three years, mainly at the North Notts College of Further Education, Worksop.
Apart from an O-level in art gained at school, Bennett is self-taught as a cartoonist. His first cartoon was published in the Cricketer magazine, but getting started as a cartoonist wasn't easy, and Bennett later recalled that "I tried when I was 18, was turned down and gave up until I was in my forties." Only in 1987, at the age of forty-six, did he finally resign to become a full-time freelance. "It was a bit tight at first," he recalled, "but getting the first one was good."
Bennett's work has appeared in Private Eye, The Times, Spectator, Law Society Gazette, Punch, Independent Saturday Magazine, Esquire ('Jekyll and Heidi' strip), Gramophone, Museums Journal, ECOS, Economic Affairs, Oldie, New Statesman and Men Only. Best known for single-frame and pocket cartoons, Bennett has been diary cartoonist for The Times since 2000. In 2002 he was voted Pocket Cartoonist of the Year by the Cartoon Art Trust.
Bennett draws quickly using fibre-tipped pens , and is happiest drawing in black and white, rarely using washes or colour. An admirer of Tom and Jerry, Laurel and Hardy, Monty Python and Leo Baxendale's "Bash Street Kids" in the Beano - "a real work of genius" - his cartoons frequently feature death and old people.
- Mark Bryant Dictionary of Twentieth-Century British Cartoonists and Caricaturists (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2000), p.22.
- Michael Heath "How to Draw Fiends and Influence People", The Independent, 13 December 2004, pp.20-1.