The 5 Question Interview with I Am Zoot

We put 5 questions to the artist sometimes known as I Am Zoot, the real unsung hero behind the scenes at True Believers. Also known as Andy Hanks, he's the one who puts together the branding for True Believers and creates all of the posters and artwork you see as part of the event.

1) What is I Am Zoot?

In short, I Am Zoot is the name I have given myself as an artist.

A longer answer would be that Zoot is a little robot character I started drawing when I was 17, originally as a baddy for another character I used to draw a lot. I ended up liking him more than the 'hero' character.

I often draw and paint digitally using my 7 year old Wacom tablet. I think I have quite a varied portfolio but I love drawing faces, mainly because I think they are one of the hardest things to get right and a hell of a challenge. robots are still my favourite thing to doodle though. My goal is to illustrate a Children's book.

2) What’s your favourite thing about what you do?

I think I love setting the scene, having complete control over the drawing and developing it up to something I'm happy with. When I'm really into a drawing then that's all I can think about, I can get totally absorbed in it.

3) Which artists inspire you?

A big question, but I follow a lot of digital artists in the hope of picking up some of their tips and tricks. Matt Dixon is in my opinion the absolute master, and like me he has an obsession with robots. As a comic book fan I love Greg Capello and Skottie Young, and at the 2015 True Believers Comic Festival I got to meet and have a long chat with Dylan Teague. His work has always blown me away and he's also the nicest, most humblest guy too.

4) What was the first comic you collected?

Well the first comic I ever read was the Judge Dredd annual 1987 (I remember an awesome story about a plague of spiders) but the first book I actually collected was Spawn, from 1995 to 2001 roughly.

5) If you had to recommend one comic (or story arc), which would it be?

Hmm, I could be all cool and interesting and say something off field like Jeff Smith's Bone, or Lethargic Lad, but I can't remember a comic I enjoyed more than Ultimate Spider-Man. To me they got that character just right with the correct mix of action and humour. Brilliant comic.

Thanks Andy.

You can check out some of his non-True Believers work on his I Am Zoot Facebook page and while you're there, why not give it a like too.