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

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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 that 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 her 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 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…”

29 celebrities with Decatur ties

29 celebrities from Decatur

29 celebrities from Decatur

Over the years, Decatur has been the birthplace of and home to many individuals who have went on to find fame.  

Here is a selection of just some celebrities from Decatur.

Gary Forrester

Gary Forrester, a New Zealand-Australia based musician, composer and poet who was profiled as one of the major figures in the Australian music scene during the 1980s and 1990s, was born in Decatur and grew up in the Effingham, Quincy and Tuscola areas. 

Jenny Lou Carson

Jenny Lou Carson, originally known as Lucille Overstake of the Three Little Maids, was born and raised in Decatur.  She went on to write “You Two-Time Me One Time Too Often,” which was the first top country hit written by a woman.  She was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association Hall of Fame in 1971.

June Christy

June Christy, an American singer hailed as “one of the finest and most neglected singers of her time,” was known for her work in the cool jazz genre.  She was born in Springfield in 1925 and moved with her family to Decatur when she was 3.

Brian Culbertson

Brian Culbertson, an American contemporary jazz/R&B/funk musician, has written and produced over 25 No. 1 contemporary smooth singles on the R&R, Gavin and Billboard Radio charts. He was born and raised in Decatur.

Howard Warren Buffett

A graduate from Mount Zion High School, Howard Warren Buffett currently is a faculty member at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and was previously a policy adviser in the Executive Office of the President of the United States under President Barack Obama.

Steve Hunter

Steve Hunter, born and raised in Decatur, is an American guitarist best known for his collaborations with Lou Reed, Peter Gabriel, Bette Midler and Meat Loaf.

Marcia Morey

Marcia Morey, born in Decatur, is a former competition swimmer who specialized in the breaststroke.  She represented the United States at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Quebec.

Richard Peck

Richard Peck is an American novelist who was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2001 for his novel “A Year Down Yonder”.

Icon for Hire

Icon for Hire, formed in 2007 in Decatur, is an American rock band that has had two Billboard-charting albums.

Chuck Dressen

Chuck Dressen was a quarterback for the Decatur Staleys and had a long career in professional baseball, most notably as the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1951-53.

CeCe Frey

CeCe Frey is a pop singer from Mount Zion who finished sixth place on seasontwo of “The X-Factor.”

Charles Earl Boles

Known as Black Bart, this English-born outlaw lived in Decatur during the 1860s before becoming one of the most notorious stagecoach robbers to operate in and around Northern California and Southern Oregon in the 1870s and 1880s.

Homer ‘Boots’ Randolph

Best known for his 1963 saxophone hit “Yakety Sax”, “Boots” Randolph played with the Dink Welch’s Kopy Kats in Decatur from 1948-1954.

Nan Martin

Nan Martin, born in Decatur, was an accomplished stage, film and TV actress who made her Broadway debut in 1950.

Roe Skidmore

Roe Skidmore played 1,300 minor league games, and got a hit in his only appearance with the 1970 Chicago Cubs. He was born in Decatur and attended Eisenhower High School.

Loren Coleman

Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman is the author of books on a number of topics, including cryptozoology. He grew up in Decatur and is a graduate of MacArthur High School.

Herbert Dickens Ryman

Herbert Dickens Ryman, who grew up in Decatur,  was an artist and Disney Imagineer who drew the first illustrations of Walt Disney’s vision of a theme park that eventually became Disneyland.  His filmography includes Art Director of Fantasia and Dumbo.

RonReaco Lee

RonReaco Lee is a television and film actor best known for his roles as Tyreke Scott on “Sister, Sister” and Jamal Woodson the BET romantic comedy “Let’s Stay Together.” He was born in Decatur.

Alison Krauss

Decatur-born musician Alison Krauss has sold over 12 million albums and won 27 Grammy Awards.

Jeff Innis

Born and raised in Decatur, Jeff Innis was a pitcher for the New York Mets from 1987 to 1993.

David Joyner

David Joyner, best known for his role as Barney, was born in Decatur and graduated from MacArthur High School in 1981.

Stephen Ambrose

Historian Stephen Ambrose, born in Decatur and raised in Lovington, was the best-selling author of books about Lewis and Clark and World War II.

Howard Graham Buffett

Businessman and philanthropist Howard G. Buffett was the Corporate Vice President and Assistant to the Chairman of Archer Daniels Midland from 1992 – 1995 and is the founder of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.  He currently resides in Decatur.

Kerri Randles

Most recently known for her worked on Clint Eastwood’s “Changeling,” Decatur-born Kerri Randles also opened the first ever Hollywood Fringe Festival with her one-woman show “Can’t you Hear Me Knockin?”

John Doe

Musican-actor John Doe, born in Decatur, paved the way for alternative rock with his band X before turning to acting in movies such as “Great Balls of Fire!” and “Boogie Nights”.

Bill Madlock

Eisenhower alumni Bill “Mad Dog” Madlock, Jr. was a right-handed hitter who won four National League batting titles and is one of only three right-handed hitters to have won multiple National League batting titles since 1960.  

Clarence McClendon

Decatur-born Bishop Clarence Earle McClendon is a gospel musician, the pastor of Full Harvest International Church in Los Angeles, California and the director of Harvest Fire Mega Mass Choir.

Freddy Krueger

Freddy Krueger, the world’s No. 1 professional water ski jump champion, was born and grew up in Decatur.

James W. Loewen

James Loewen, a sociologist, historian and author best known for his book, “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong,” was born in Decatur and was a 1960 graduate of MacArthur High School as well as a national merit scholar.

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