Allison Sohn and her husband, Adam Hughes are two comic con legends that we have been so lucky to know over the past several years. Like us, they share a love of Copic markers and Comic Cons.
Ygritte by Allison Sohn
Who are Adam and Allison?
Adam Hughes began working in comics at the age of 19, in 1985. He has worked on titles such DC Comic's Justice League. He has come to be known for elegant drawings of strong women, having worked for several years on DC Comics Wonder Woman title, followed by Catwoman.
Allison Sohn is an illustrator, working primarily in comics and trading cards. She has worked with such properties as DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Archie comics, and Star Wars.
How did each of you end up becoming artists?
Adam: I always wanted to draw comic-books, and when I got in, in the 80s, it was very easy. Lots of work, you didn't need a lot of talent or experience to get started.
Allison: I've always drawn, as long as I can recall. And being an artist was really the one thing I ever thought I'd be. So I guess I just made my mind up and refused to deviate from that path.
How did you two meet?
Adam: At a convention here in Atlanta. Ironically, we're both originally from New Jersey!
Allison: I was a very big fan of Adam's work, and convinced some friends to rent a van and drive with me from New Jersey, where we lived, to a comic convention in Atlanta, Georgia because I saw that Adam was going to be a guest there. And the rest is weird, stalker-like history!
When did you first start using Copic markers and what do you love the most about them?
Allison: Good lord- I have NO idea what year it was. We were still in artist's alley at San Diego Comic Con, and not in our booth, so it had to have been 2008, or even earlier maybe? A fan brought Adam a set of the cool (and maybe the warm) grays, and he began using them on all of his convention sketches. A year later, that same fan brought us a 72 box color set, and I could see people thinking "Oooh! Now Adam will be drawing sketches in color!" So being naughty, I stole those for myself and have been adding to the collection ever since. I find them to be the most flexible of tools- if I can think of it, I can generally achieve it with Copics. I love that they can fool people into thinking I'm working in water color, and that they walk away with the idea that I know what I'm doing. And I feel like the longer I work with them, the more I can achieve.
Adam: I started using them in the mid-00s, I'm not sure exactly when. I was doing marker sketches at a San Diego Comic-Con and a mysterious stranger gave me a set of COPICs. What I love most if the refillability. Because of it, I can control wetness, do drybrush effects. Versatilty!
Adam Hughes working on the Catwoman Convergence comic cover for DC comics with Copic Markers
How many Comic Cons have you been to and what keeps bringing you back?
Allison: I'm OLD. I've been doing San Diego Comic Con since before it was called "Comic Con"- back when we all referred to it as "San Diego", because all the shows were "comic-cons", and we specified which one it was by the name of the city it was in. You and your friends attended New York, Baltimore, San Diego or Chicago; they were all comic-cons, but we called them by the cities they were in. ANYWAY- Granny Allison started going as an attendee in 1998, and as a professional from back in the early 2000's.
Daenerys' Fire By Allison Sohn
What can participants expect to learn from your How To Draw panel?
Allison: Well, I'm told people really like it- that it's one of the most requested panels every year. But the nice folks there in the San Diego Comic Con panel programming offices COULD be lying to me, just for giggles. Seriously, though, I do a step by step, taking a drawing of a portrait of a popular film or television character all the way through to final finished colors. I talk about tricks that help, and things to look out for. Some of it is copic marker- specific, and some of it is about the process of drawing and creating in color. And folks tell me it helps them a lot, and quite a few people come back year after year. So it must not be too bad, right?
A step-by-step by Alllison for San Diego, 2015
In three words, what advice do you give artists who are just getting started?
Allison: DON'T GIVE UP!!!!
Adam: ABD. Always. Be. Drawing.
— Steve Musolino Jr (@stefanomjr) July 25, 2016