Michel den Hamer, now known as Zookie, was born in Lommel, Belgium, but moved to The Netherlands when he was six years old. He drew his first comic strip when he was about twelve years old. He was especially fascinated by the work of Morris, Vandersteen, Franquin, Marc Sleen, Jean-Pol and Robert van der Kroft. During his high school years he drew cartoons and comic strips for the school paper. He started drawing under his Zookie pseudonym in 1993. Zookie's comic strips have been published in magazines such as Yahoo!, Chaos and Zone 5300, among others.