Watch now: RaiderCon draws cosplay, comic book fans to Moweaqua | Local Entertainment

Comic book artist Bill Hessmann draws and talks to visitors at RaiderCon on Saturday in Moweaqua.

Donnette Beckett

MOWEAQUA — Dressed as the superhero Deadpool, Josie Moore greeted other comic book fans as they entered the Central A&M High School doors on Saturday.

The high school senior was there to welcome others to RaiderCon, an event filling the gymnasium with comic book vendors, artists and cosplay characters.

“I love seeing the cosplayers,” Moore said. “I love seeing people get all into it and their twist on their heroes.”

The comic books are also a draw for fans like Moore. “The art is absolutely amazing,” she said.


Matt Dutton, dressed as Aquaman, stands next to the standing costume of Iron Man during RaiderCon on Saturday in Moweaqua.

Donnette Beckett

According to Justin Smith, Central A&M art teacher and organizer of RaiderCon, approximately 17 vendors displayed their collections and artwork. Comic books, toys, music, artwork and baseball cards were just a few of the items available for show. The crowd was just as versatile, he said.

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“It’s a wide range of people,” Smith said. “There are so many different people who come to these shows that just like to walk around and enjoy the day.”


Comic books were a popular item at RaiderCon on Saturday in Moweaqua.

Donnette Beckett

Guests invited to the event included comic book artists, such as Bill Reinhold and Linda Hessmann Reinhold. The couple began creating illustrations in the early 1970s in New York City.

Hessmann Reinhold started his career at Marvel Comics. “When there were about 12 people working,” she said about the comic book company.

Her job as a colorist was different from the same career today, she said.

“Pretty much everything is done digitally these days,” Hessmann Reinhold said.

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The husband-and-wife team continue to create commissioned work. He draws various pieces while she paints. Their display for Saturday’s event was a collection of various projects during their careers.

In between discussions about his work, Reinhold drew characters and scenes on blank comic book covers. His advice from him for young artists is to study drawings as much as possible.


Linda Hessmann Reinhold sat among the comic books she helped create on Saturday at RaiderCon in Moweaqua.

Donnette Beckett

“Not just comic books,” he said. “Draw life, draw trees, draw your friends, take art classes. All of it you could bring to the comic book world.”

As Reinhold points out, many comic books are not about superheroes.

“They are about daily life,” he said. “When you’re an artist, you basically have to draw everything, cars, buildings, people.”

Cooper Morrell, 20, was a Central A&M student for the first RaiderCon in 2019 and returned to help at this year’s event. Details are important, according to the organizers. Smith and Morrell studied how similar events have worked for others.

“We go to different ComicCons,” Morrell said. “And we get people to come to our event.”

As a comic book fan, he wanted to be involved again with RaiderCon.

“I still get comic books when I can,” he said. “My mom doesn’t like it, but…”

Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR


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