Welcome to The Big Insane Happy

My name is Jonathan Burrello. I’ve been a pizza slicer, a bookseller, a TV extra, a movie critic, a special ed aide, a forensics coach, an adjunct speech professor, an ESL teacher in Korea, a comedian, a ghostwriter, a storyboard artist, and an illustrator.

Awhile back (circa. 2009) I started doing the Secret Keys comic strip with my old roommate, Jon Stephens. So we invented The Big Insane Happy. Later collaborators have included comedians Wassim El-Mounzer and Dan Wiberg, Stand-Up Seoul, 10 Magazine, Toco Cat Comics, Waygeek, netSideBar, and others. Professionally my illustrative work has appeared in magazines, educational texts, blogs, children’s literature, playbills, promotional billboards and posters, t-shirts, storyboards, and some art gallery showcases. PORTFOLIO.

Explore the site, subscribe, and watch my illustrative evolution.

  • Blinky & Sal a comic featuring a culturally perplexed bat, and a few other creature things with differing philosophical views.
  • Secret Keys a single-panel random strip occasionally co-written with Stephens.
  • Flash Fiction some humorous short stories usually ~500 words or less.
  • Fat Star Wars the most beloved Star Wars characters only fat. Why? Because it is adorable and funny.
  • Soggy a bear with big, cute eyes. Inspired by my childhood teddy bear, Soggy was one of my earliest characters.
  • Joncast a non-sequitur podcast featuring myself and Jon Stephens.
  • Stewed an original short comedy film on Vimeo about cannibals. (approx. 15 minutes)
  • Russell Parks  a man of science who produced his own educational videos for some obscure public access channel with the help of remarkably generous federal grants. We were lucky enough to obtain the rights to all of his short educational films.
  • TravelCartoons, Sketchbook, and Film, consist of some of my travel writings, notebook sketches and doodles, comedy videos, and other stuff.
  • Check out some the work I did for hire in the Commissions section.

quadportrait2More: BURRELLOSUBMARINE’S MOVIE BLOG is where I blog about movies. Also check out my children’s bookWoolly the Big Cow. You can get your very own “Secret Keys” tees and other fun merchandise HERE and HERE.

Looking to hire an artist/illustrator? email: jonathan.d.burrello@gmail.com

15 thoughts on “Welcome to The Big Insane Happy

  1. Hey, I really enjoyed your cartoons! I’m in highschool, and would love to be a cartoonist. I just don’t know how to make really GOOD cartoons. I can’t put the image in my head, down on paper. Any tips?


    • Drawing the cartoons is the easy part…getting paid for it is another story. Everyone works differently, but for me I tend to remove most preconceptions about the world from my head. Start with only imagination (so there’s no obligation to make it look like anything specific and thus is no wrong move). Other people (and myself on occasion when the time calls for it) study objects intently and attempt to duplicate them (although I tend to make my own adjustments still). Also study your own face in a mirror. You have the most control in a mirror and can really see how the human face can move and contort. Finally, it helps to read a lot of cartoons (I stick with “Calvin & Hobbes” myself as Bill Watterson was probably the greatest cartoonist to ever live). Stay focused on making your own vision rather than mimicking other people.


      • Thanks! That is really good advice! I’ll work on it, and mabye I’ll make my own blog and show off my cartoons! Thanks again!


  2. Love your blog. :)

    Just read the “Most Idiosyncratic Movies I Have Seen” post so far. Looking at your profile and a quick glance at some of the other posts, guarantees that I’ve got some good reading ahead of me.


  3. Grew up watching Star Wars and loved the fat characters. Also loved your stache, especially for Movember. Keep up the good work and motivating the youngsters to chase their dreams!


  4. Hey …came across your comics on line and gotta say I love the Goat comic “you gonna eat that” ..I am opening a Resuraunt/Bar &Grill in a small town in Ohio……The name of it is “Goat-n-Nannies .I would like to have your Goat on my shirts and sign ..Please respond and let me know..Thanks and keep being funny



  5. Hi just had to leave a comment!
    Amazing work my friend!
    And u gave the best arrived I’ve ever heard.

    “Stay focused on your own vision rather than mimicking other people”

    I cant agree more! I can remember and am actually on my w to the He Kubert school to hone my skills more.


    • Thanks. I bounce back and forth between Gimp and Photoshop depending on what I’m trying to do. Just make a transparent layer over the black and white images and set it on multiply. Sometimes I make several layers, but it’s not always necessary.


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