Comic Book Superheroes!

Mason’s 3rd Birthday – Superhero Party!

One of my jobs during my college years was color separator/digital colorist for the comic book industry…and my favorite Superhero of all time (ever since the 70’s TV series featuring Lynda Carter) is Wonder Woman.  So, it’s no surprise that I was SUPER ecstatic when Mason asked for a Superhero party for his 3rd birthday!  Around here we LOVE comic books and any movies, cartoons, TV shows, toys, video games, etc. based on comic book characters…who doesn’t want to be a Superhero and have special powers, right?

San Diego Comic-Con International (the world-famous and massively awesome comic book convention that my husband and I have been going to just about every chance we could since those college days) has now become a family tradition…our kids LOVE it: the craziness, the costumed crowds, the spectacle, and the chance to see our favorite characters (and the talented artists who create them) up close and personal! We had to miss it last year (we were in San Francisco running the marathon) and this year we didn’t register fast enough and it was completely sold out! Bummer! I’m hoping to still try to get in on the madness at some point this weekend, so this post is for my Comic-Con fix!

Mason starting calling himself “Masemo” when he was learning to talk and that nickname somehow morphed into his Superhero character. He would use dishtowels as a cape and run around calling himself “Super Masemo”…so we decided to create a “Masemo” comic book as the invitations. 

I love the look of old comic books and the original Superheroes from the comics of the 40’s-60’s… that’s the approach I took with the design of his comic book. My husband digitized a photo of Mason in his Superman pajamas and I altered the text and pages from select vintage comic books to convey the party information. Some pages of the comic book even had retro advertisements for x-ray glasses and Sea Monkeys. I had a lot of fun changing some elements of the DC comics cover and issue date to reflect our family “brand” and Mason’s birth date.  Those subtle bits of customization really add that personal touch and I love it when people actually notice the details.  The Masemo comic book was packaged in a clear sleeve (just like the real deal) and then enclosed in a 3.5″ X 5″ pocketfold-style invitation. Even the mailing stamps followed the comic book Superhero theme. Pages from the comic book were enlarged and printed as decorations and turned into signage for party.

The back page was one of my favorites (I watched Super Friends all the time as a kid),  I think it’s funny that Masemo and Shuggie are in the mix.
How cool are these retro comic book ads! (The back cover of Masemo’s comic book).


Like most of our parties, we kept the decorations pretty simple (picked stuff up at the 99 Cent Store and Party City): color-coordinated streamers, balloons, plates, napkins, plastic table cloths and print-outs of Mason’s favorite comic book characters, Superheroes, his “Masemo” Superhero logo and some classic comic book phrases. 

My friend Tiffany of Heon Design, hand made personalized capes for each of the SUPER guests, which we also displayed as decorations.

“Pepa” (Grandpa Bill) gave Mason a remote control blimp that Papa (Grandpa John) decorated…it was flown around our open living room as a decoration, prop and entertainment.

Guests were encouraged to dress as their favorite Superhero or wear themed t-shirts…and yes, princesses with magic wands and pink tutus count!

We used Cafe Press to make Mason a shirt of the “Masemo” logo we designed for his comic book invitation.
All of Masemo’s Spiderman (that was his favorite character at the time) toys and his whole playroom (our living room) were made available for kids to play with. Standard party games and activities included face painting/tattoos, pin the tail, hot potato, a jumpy and piñata.
Tattoos!  Oriental Trading Company and Rhode Island Novelty have Superhero-themed tattoos as well as thunder bolts and stars.
My niece, Maylie, is our resident tattoo-ist.
“Pin” the web on the villain (chasing after Spiderman).
“Pass the Kryptonite” hot potato game (we used a green squishy Nerf ball).
Our little jumpy (perfectly sized for a bunch of 2, 3, and 4 year-olds) was set up in the driveway.
P.S. – Mason LOVED that Piñata and since our friend, Cho, brought it down a few days before the party, he treated that thing like a close pal….it stayed in his room with him, he tried to carry it around the house (it was life-size)…it was his buddy!  So it broke our hearts when it came time to smash the piñata.  Mason refused to take a bat to his beloved Spiderman.  It took a lot of coaxing and it wasn’t until the promise of the candy bounty, that he would finally do it.  Note to self: next time, the piñata should be a villain or bad guy…should have gotten Venom or Joker instead! 
Kids always seem to find their own entertainment…the juice box cooler/bucket filled with melting ice provided a bit of fun in the August heat.

The food was kept pretty simple…just snacks, fruit salad, veggie tray, candy, cookies, chips/dip, nachos, juice boxes, sodas, waters, etc. I used some of the comic book images from Mason’s invitations to create food indicator tent cards. This one was for the “build your own SUPER HERO” sub sandwiches.  Assorted deli meats (turkey, roast beef, ham), cheeses (cheddar, swiss, muenster), condiments, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles were set up with pre-sliced dinner rolls for guests to make their own “heroes”.  We also had hot meatballs with marinara sauce (in a crock pot) and provolone.

The spread…lots of snacks and goodies.
All the kids got to wear their custom capes during cake time.
The SUPER-AWESOME (and delicious chocolatey) cake by Jeff of Rhino Cake Company featured Masemo’s comic book character.
Birthday Boy sneaks a taste of frosting (and yes, that’s a lollipop that he’s clutching).
Yay for THREE!

Mason’s birthday is a few weeks after Comic-Con, so we were able to stock up on vintage/used comic books in bulk and Superhero-themed toys (for the game prizes). The goodie bags (cellophane bags with adhesive flaps from Kelly Paper) contained Spiderman fruit snacks/fruit roll ups, bubbles, tattoos, stickers and a REAL comic book from Comic-Con. Using the design from the front cover of Masemo’s comic book, I added in some thank you wording and printed labels for the bags.  The thank yous were 5″ X 7″ postcards with a collage of photos from the party.    

The “main” favors were the custom-made capes by my friend Tiffany. This was one reason why a R.S.V.P. by date is important – I needed to know who was coming so we could make sure to have a personalized initial for their cape. I purchased assorted colors (red, blues, pinks) of stretchy/shiny Spandex fabric and Tiffany cut/sewed, adding in the yellow ribbon tie and stitching all the monograms onto the capes. The fabric cut well and did not require hemming. For the letters, I printed out a “logo” onto cardstock and using an Exacto knife, cut out a template that we used to trace the design onto yellow felt. Then we hand-cut all the initials…it was important to know how many of each letter to cut, so that each SUPER guest would receive their special cape. We also made a few blanks, so I could fill in their initial with Sharpie (if someone came to the party that we weren’t expecting, they wouldn’t leave empty-handed).

And this doesn’t really have anything to do with the party planning…but as I was looking through all the photos to prepare this post, I came across these hilarious photos of Baby Isaac  (he’ll soon be FIVE in a few months).  I just can’t believe this party was almost four years ago…WOW, my boys (and all their neighborhood buddies) are growing up so fast!

Isaac (in the Batman pajamas) is making some funny faces…and buddy, Grayson, does not look amused.  I should have put a caption bubble of what he’s probably thinking….LOL!

This party was almost four years ago and we’ve had many fun parties since, but I still think this one was totally AWESOME!  THANKS again to my “Dream Team”…my amazing  family and friends:

Photography: Auntie Julie (Lot116)

Invitations, Printed Decorations: Love Paper Paint (Mommy,
Decorations: Makala, Cousin Maylie, Nana & Papa
Custom Capes: Tiffany (Heon Design)
Food Prep: Nana and Auntie Mary
Cake: Jeff (Rhino Cake Co.)
Games/Activities: Cousin Maylie, Makala, Auntie Mary, Uncle Mark, Uncle Charlie, Cousin Tyan
Piñata: Aaron (Daddy), Uncle Charlie and Auntie Cho
Clean up: Nana & Papa, Auntie Mary, Auntie Allison


  1. […] These custom vintage comic book invitations never get old. I created these for my son’s 3rd birthday in 2007 and still get orders/requests for them even […]