Watch Now: RaiderCon Draws Cosplay and Comic Fans to Moweaqua | local entertainment


Comic 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 fellow comic book fans as they entered the gates of Central A&M High School on Saturday.

The high school senior was there to welcome everyone to RaiderCon, an event that filled the gym with comic book vendors, artists and cosplayers.

“I love seeing cosplayers,” said Moore. “I love seeing people get involved and put a spin on their heroes.”

Comics also attract fans like Moore. “The art is absolutely amazing,” he said.


Matt Dutton, dressed as Aquaman, stands next to Iron Man’s standup suit during RaiderCon on Saturday in Moweaqua.

Donnette Beckett

According to Justin Smith, a Central A&M art professor and RaiderCon organizer, 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 display. 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 who just like to walk around and enjoy the day.”


Comics were a popular item at RaiderCon on Saturday in Moweaqua.

Donnette Beckett

Guests at 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 began his career at Marvel Comics. “When there were about 12 people working,” he said of the comics company.

Her work as a colorist was different from her current career, she said.

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

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The husband and wife team continues to create commissioned work. He draws various pieces while she paints. Her showcase for Saturday’s event was a collection of various projects throughout her career.

Between discussions of his work, Reinhold drew characters and scenes on blank comic book covers. His advice to young artists is to study the drawings as much as possible.


Linda Hessmann Reinhold sat among the comics she helped create Saturday at RaiderCon in Moweaqua.

Donnette Beckett

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

As Reinhold points out, many comics aren’t about superheroes.

“It’s 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 at the first RaiderCon in 2019 and returned to help out at this year’s event. Details are important, according to 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, I wanted to get back into RaiderCon.

“I still buy comics when I can,” he said. “My mom doesn’t like it, but…”

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