The Great Big Beautiful Podcast celebrates popular culture by talking to the people who create it. Hosted by Jamie Greene and a rotating crew of awesome cohosts.
Episode 231: Minh Lê
We welcome Minh Lê to the show! His newest book (a collaboration with Dan Santat), Lift, is a charming, escapist book about the power of imagination… and the compelling urge to press elevator buttons! Honestly, who can't relate to that? Minh also recently worked with illustrator Andie Tong on Green Lantern: Legacy for DC Comics, which tells the story of the newest Lantern: 13-year-old Tai Pham. On this episode, we talk to Minh about his career, his books, working with Dan Santat, and why it's important to continue working and creating… especially now.
Episode 230: Kevin Kiner
Composer Kevin Kiner is back to give Star Wars: The Clone Wars the continuity of sound and music that fans have come to expect from the franchise. Having composed the first six seasons of The Clone Wars, along with all of Star Wars Rebels, Kiner is no stranger to the galaxy far, far away. In fact, no one's composed more music for Star Wars than Kevin Kiner - not even John Williams. On this episode of the show, we talk to Kiner about returning to The Clone Wars, making such an impact on the Star Wars universe, his approach to music in general, and his other recent projects (including Titans and Doom Patrol).
Episode 229: Mallory O'Meara
Every so often, I like to read a book for pleasure. With no expectation of a review or author interview. With no pressure on my back. Just for the enjoyment of the book. Mallory O'Meara's The Lady from the Black Lagoon was supposed to be one of those books. Alas. I enjoyed it so much that I knew I had to have O'Meara on the show. And here we are. The Lady from the Black Lagoon tells the story of Milicent Patrick, lead designer on the Creature from Universal's original Creature from the Black Lagoon. But Patrick's story is one that was essentially lost to history. O'Meara's book puts the pieces back together, from Patrick's childhood at Hearst Castle (her father was an architect there) to her days at Disney's Ink and Paint department to her time creating monsters and beyond. It's part biography of Patrick, part detective story, part memoir of O'Meara. But it's all awesome. And it's one hell of a fascinating and entertaining read.
Episode 228: Mira Bartók
This time, we're joined by author Mira Bartók, author of The Memory Palace and The Wonderling. And the two books couldn't be more different. Where The Memory Palace is an intensely personal and emotional memoir about mental illness, The Wonderling is a lovely children's book in the grandest tradition of all: talking animals. On this episode, we talk about The Wonderling, making the transition between memoir and fiction, writing for totally different audiences, memory, museums, Massachusetts, and more!
Episode 227: Kwame Mbalia
Surprise! We're back! And surprise! We're joined by another author from the stellar Rick Riordan Presents line: Kwame Mbalia, author of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky. What's most incredible about Tristan Strong is not its powerful characters or original storyline (though those are awesome), it's that the book is Mbalia's debut novel! It's truly a staggering achievement. On this episode, we talk about Tristan Strong the book, Tristan Strong the character as an Anansesem, cultural memory, and presenting timeless mythologies to an audience that might not be familiar with them.
Episode 226: Jeff Kinney
This week, we're joined by a middle grade superstar: Jeff Kinney, the evil genius behind the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. The fourteenth book in the series - Wrecking Ball - recently released, and it finds our hapless hero, Greg Heffley, at the center of another fine mess. On this episode, I talk to Jeff about the new book, keeping Greg the same age forever, writing an unlikable protagonist, finding influence in Lincoln Peirce's Big Nate, and owning an honest-to-goodness bookstore.