Welcome to Comicbookchuck. You were selected for our Heroes Unmasked segment because you are doing something truly remarkable. You are enhancing the entertainment experience of the average DC fan by providing a product straight out of TV and film. Wonderland at Home is bringing fandom to the next level.
Q1: How did you end up following this career path?
A1: I’ve always loved the idea of storytelling, whether it’s through food, books or film. Our capacity for imagination is the thing that makes human beings truly unique in the world. My early career led me into the world of fine dining, where we’d create immersive restaurant experiences with some of the world’s leading chefs, some of which were never-before-seen and really pushed the boundaries of what people thought could be done. It’s a fantastic challenge taking a narrative from concept to plate – you just need to be brave enough to try! It was as much a kitchen as a science lab. While I’m passionate about food and the incredibly special relationship you can create with diners, I’ve also always had an eye on the movie business! Sadly being an actor wasn’t for me, so when the opportunity came to work with Warner Bros I naturally jumped at the chance. With the fantastic IPs on offer, this partnership has allowed us to take things to a whole new level.
Q2: How big of a DC fan are you?
A2: Huge! I was reading the comics as a kid and I’ve followed the universe ever since. I love the level of detail in the world-building and Wonderland really drills into that. We have days in the office where we’re all sat around asking each other ‘What would Bruce Wayne’s handwriting look like?’ It’s these small things that can make a big difference to fans and help us build something believable. The idea is that when you come through the door you’re totally immersed in another world. You might have walked in off a rainy Brewer Street, but you’re arriving in Old Gotham!
Q3: When did the idea for Wonderland’s Mother Box come together?
A3: Park Row, our in-person restaurant experience, had been in development for some time but with the pandemic making its presence felt we wanted to give fans something they could enjoy at home; a Michelin-star quality meal kits that would appeal to the fan in everyone.
Q4: How involved were you in the creative process?
A4: As the Chief Creative Director I’m involved at every point of the process, from conception right through to delivery. As a fan myself it’s great to have that eye, to understand the audience and know what they want. I also originated the Wonderland Academy of Curiosity, which is all about bringing together the best creative minds and giving them the space to play so they can produce something brilliant. All our team are big DC fans so we encourage everyone to get involved. It’s like putting together our very own Justice League! Everyone is different and brings unique powers, but we’re united behind a common cause: providing fans with a next level experience!
Q5: How did you form the DC/Warner relationship?
A5: It’s been a long time in the making and it’s great to see it finally coming to life. Our contacts there are fantastic and really understand what we’re trying to achieve. It’s been a hugely positive relationship from start to finish.
Q6: What is your favorite featured food or beverage item?
A6: It has to be the Big Belly Burger. We’ve gone through a lot of recipe testing to make this the best possible version it can be and we think we’ve finally hit on a sure-fire winner. It ties perfectly into the DC Universe, provides a fine-dining twist on a classic, and let’s face it – who doesn’t love a burger?? Plus I love that fans can add garnish and really make it their own. If your perfect burger has a pickle you can add one! It can be whatever you imagined when you were reading The Flash.
Q7: How does one become James Bulmer? What key moments led you to found Wonderland at Home?
A7: A lot of hard work, imagination, a great team behind me, and not taking ‘no’ for an answer!
Q8: What advice do you have for aspiring creatives that are losing hope during the pandemic?
A8: Don’t. We’ll always face challenging times, and the current events we’re experiencing are truly unprecedented, but people have never been hungrier (excuse the pun) for new ways of seeing the world. It’s been great to see the support out there and I think we’ll all come back stronger.
As a great man once said, ‘Why do we fall, sir? So we can learn to pick ourselves up’
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