The Great Big Beautiful Podcast-logo

The Great Big Beautiful Podcast

Arts & Culture Podcasts

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.

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.


United States


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...


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...


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...


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,...


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...


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.


Episode 225: K. Eason

K. Eason has written one of our favorite books of 2019. How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a book that cohost Shiri is on record as calling "joyfully, delightfully amazing." Because it is. And in this episode of the show, we're joined by K. Eason to talk about the book, how it upends traditional fairy tales, teaching zombies to college kids, and why it's important for young women to have a circle of supportive, female friends. Oh, and we also talk about her hobby of reenacting...


Episode 224: Zoraida Córdova

If you're a Star Wars fan, you know Zoraida Córdova from the new book set in Galaxy's Edge, A Crash of Fate (or perhaps from her short story "You Owe Me a Ride" in the stellar From a Certain Point of View). If you're a fantasy reader, you likely know her from the Brooklyn Brujas or The Vicious Deep series. If you're a reader of romance, you know her by her pen name Zoey Castile. She's all kinds of prolific is what I'm saying. And she's all kinds of awesome. On this episode, Córdova sits down...


Episode 223: Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan is a middle grade superstar. Seriously, authors don't rank more A-list than him. When it comes to name recognition and reader obsession, you've got your J.K. Rowling, your Raina Telgemeier, and your Rick Riordan. That's the triumvirate, right there. The father of Percy Jackson (and Magnus Chase... and Carter and Sadie Kane... and - to an extent - the god Apollo), Riordan has managed to breathe vitality, immediacy, relevancy, and a modern take into ancient (Greek, Roman,...


Episode 222: J. Michael Straczynski

This week, we welcome the legendary J. Michael Straczynski to the show. For many fans, Straczynski is the author of several seminal runs in both the DC and Marvel universes. For other fans, he's the genius behind Babylon 5. For still others, he's known for co-creating Sense8 with the Wachowskis. And for nerds like me, he was one of the original writers on He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. And, oh yeah, he co-created She-Ra: Princess of Power. But Straczynski has a new memoir out now -...


Episode 221: Preeti Chhibber

This week, we celebrate the theatrical release of Spider-Man: Far From Home with Preeti Chhibber, author of the utterly charming Peter and Ned's Ultimate Travel Journal. The book is a snarky view of the MCU in general and Far From Home in particular in the form of a European travel journal as if it were written by Peter and Ned (with the occasional quip of extra snark from MJ in the margins). Our conversation with Chhibber is also super fun, and it's fantastic to chat with a writer at the...


Episode 220: Kate Mulgrew

You might know her as Mrs. Columbo. Or maybe Mary Ryan from Ryan's Hope. Batman: The Animated Series fans remember her as Red Claw. If you've watched Orange Is the New Black, you know her from her chilling portrayal of Galina "Red" Reznikov. And if you're a Star Trek fan, you know Kate Mulgrew from Star Trek: Voyager, where she boldly went and broke new ground for seven seasons as the franchise's first female captain: Captain Kathryn Janeway. On this episode, we talk with Mulgrew about her...


Episode 219: Michael Moreci

This week, Michael Moreci joins me for a fantastic conversation about all things geeky. Moreci is the author of Black Star Renegades and its sequel We Are Mayhem, which just came out last month. In a nutshell, the story dares to ask the age-old question: "What would happen if Star Wars and Guardians of the Galaxy had a love child?" And oh boy, is it a fun ride. But Moreci is also a seasoned comic book writer, having written for pretty much every major publisher: DC, Archie, Image, Vault,...


Episode 218: Evangeline Lilly

Talk to Evangeline Lilly for more than three minutes, and one thing become remarkably clear. She's positively overflowing with stories she wants to tell, and Hollywood isn't necessarily where she wants to tell them. So when you sit down with her for nearly an hour, as we do this week, the insight is profound. Perhaps best known for her roles as Kate Austen (Lost), Tauriel (The Hobbit), and Hope Van Dyne/Wasp (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Lilly nevertheless sees herself as a writer with a fantastic...


Episode 217: Lamar Giles

Welcome back! This week, we're chatting with author Lamar Giles about his newest book, The Last Last Day of Summer, and the brand-new Versify imprint it's helping launch. Giles has written several YA books (Fake ID, Overturned, Spin), and The Last Last Day of Summer is his first go at middle grade fiction. And he knocks it out of the park. On this episode, we chat about The Last Last Day of Summer (and its unique twists), Versify, We Need Diverse Books (he's a cofounder), Hong Kong, LEGO...


Episode 216: Alan Oppenheimer

I know I say this a lot, but this one was a real thrill for me. This week, my conversation with Skeletor himself: the one and only Alan Oppenheimer! If Alan's career only included his work on He-Man and She-Ra (where he also played Man-at-Arms, Cringer/Battle Cat, and Mer-Man) and The Neverending Story (Falkor, G'Mork), his reputation as a legend would've been secure. But he was involved with so much else. If you grew up in the 80s and watched any cartoons, odds are you heard his voice more...


Episode 215: Ronald L. Smith

This week, things are gettin' creepy as we talk to author Ronald L. Smith. Smith has a knack for imbuing his middle grade fiction with a little bit of that "X-Files vibe." And that dark, mysterious sensibility is certainly on display in his newest book, The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away, which is about a young kid who's convinced he's been abducted by aliens. On this episode, we talk about growing up as a military brat, why bullying recurs as a theme throughout his books, the role of adults...


Episode 214: Tom Angleberger

This week, we welcome back one of our favorite guests: Tom Angleberger! Tom was actually one of our very first guests, WAY BACK on Episode 23. He was also the first guest to come back for a second appearance (with fellow Star Wars authors Alexandra Bracken and Adam Gidwitz on Episode 33). And now he's the first to hit another milestone: the threepeat! On this episode, I'm joined by Meg Humphrey to geek out about Tom's criminally underappreciated The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear....


Episode 213: Skottie Young

This week, we're geeking out with one of our very favorite artists working in comics/graphic novels today: Skottie Young! If you're familiar with Young, you're familiar with his unique, recognizable-at-once style. For 15 years, he's been at the center of the industry and has had a hand in almost every major character. That's almost literally true - he's done "baby" variant covers for nearly every Marvel title. On this episode, we talk about the "dream scenario" of how he started in comics,...


Episode 212: Hena Khan

This week, we're talking to author Hena Khan, whose book Amina's Voice was one of the launch titles for Simon & Schuster's Salaam Reads imprint. She's also written a series of middle grade books about Zayd Saleem - "Chasing the Dream" - a 4th grader with dreams of basketball stardom, a few board books that spotlight Muslim traditions, and even a book starring Curious George! On this episode, we talk to Khan about getting attached to Salaam Reads, using her and her children's experiences as a...