Polandball, also known as countryballs, is an internet meme of user-generated comics, which was born on the /int/ site of the German image board Krautchan.net in the second half of 2009. The meme is manifested in many webcomics, where countries are presented as spherical people, usually interacting in poorly written English, making fun of national stereotypes and international relationships between them. The comic style can be called Polandball (even though Poland is not among the characters in the comic) and countryball (or, collectively, countries-balls).
Polandball has its roots in an August 2009 "cyberwar" between Polish Internet users and the rest of the world on drawball.com. The website, which offers a virtual canvas, allows Internet users to draw whatever they want, and to draw over others' drawings. On the Internet in Poland, an idea was raised to draw the Polish flag on the ball, and thousands of Poles together managed to take over the drawball with a painting of white on top of red, with the word "POLSKA" written in the middle. After co-ordination from 4chan, this was then covered over by a giant swastika.
Krautchan.net is a German-language imageboard whose /int/ board is frequented by English-speaking netizens. The beginning of the Polandball meme is credited to Falco, a British user on /int/, who in September 2009 created the meme using MS Paint in an apolitical way to troll Wojak, a Pole on the same board who contributes in broken English, after which Polandball cartoons were enthusiastically drawn by Russians.
Polandball comics have no defined authors, and anyone is able to make one. This has culminated in the meme propagating across various sites on the Internet, including Reddit and Facebook. Facebook and Reddit. Facebook's Polandball community is dedicated to laissez-faire editing, while Reddit's is dedicated to consistent and strict content.
The premise of Polandball, which increased his popularity after the plane crash in Smolensk that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski, is representing Poland and its history, its relationship with other countries and stereotypes, focusing on Polish megalomania and national complex. The interactions between country-balls tend to be written in poorly written English and internet jargon, like Lolcat meme, and finally, the cartoon of Poland, which is represented red purposely with white above (as opposed to Polish flag) is seen generally crying. Some Polandball comics have the premise that Poland can't go into space.
Polandball includes comics from other countries, but by convention also called polandballs or countryballs. Similarly, international organizations, administrative divisions, cities, historical flags, ethnic groups and other elements connected with the society can be represented.
Countries are also represented as balls, although Singapore and Bermuda take the form of a triangle; the German Empire of 1871-1918 (on Facebook and elsewhere) or the theoretical Fourth Reich (on Reddit) is a tall rectangle with small eyes and is known as Reichtangle; Israel and the Hebrew Autonomous Oblast take the form of a cube (in reference to Jewish physics); Nepal and the state of Ohio take the form of its respective flags with teeth; and Kazakhstan takes the form of a brick. In addition, some countries usually wear accesories. For example, USA wears sunglasses, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong wear a monocle and a top hat and Indonesia wears a typical hat.
Cue balls of 1 through 8 are used to represent indigenous ethnic groups without a certain nationality. The only cue balls used are: the 1 ball (yellow) represents East Asians, the 7 ball (maroon) represents Native Americans and the 8 ball (black) represents Africans or black people in general. Extraterrestrials are represented by the 6 ball (green).
The simplicity of Polandball, added with its recognition of world history and a focus on current affairs, makes the meme suited to commenting on international events.
- The drawing tools are not allowed.
- The characters only have white eyes, no hair, face or limbs.
- The broken English spoken is compulsory except for English-speaking characters.
- Poland is represented in red and white, not vice versa order.
- The characters do not call themselves with the suffix "-ball", but the name of the country.
- The female characters are Polandballs with a bow to the head or a flower.
Personality of countriesEdit
In Polandball, some countries are usually represented with a distinct personality. Here are some examples:
- Argentina: Thinks himself as an European country and wants to recover the Falklands Islands (Malvinas in spanish).
- Austria: Sometimes it is a psychologist, is sometimes someone who likes to lock up people in basements.
- Bolivia: Frustrated by having no direct access to the sea.
- Brazil: A happy football/soccer fan country.
- Canada: Likes ice hockey, sometimes hits seals and often says "Sorry" (sorry).
- Chile: An obsessed with showing how high is its HDI country.
- China: wants to be a world power.
- Cuba, Iran and Venezuela: They have anti-American attitudes.
- Estonia: Wants to be a Nordic country and often hangs out with Finland.
- Finland: Alcoholic and violent.
- Germany: Nicknamed sometimes as "Germoney" is a fan of work. It wants to keep the European Union and he wants that EU indebted countries to pay their debts.
- Great Britain / United Kingdom: a gentleman. Great ally of France.
- Greece: In economic crisis, unable to pay its debts to Germany.
- Jamaica and Uruguay: Cheerful and addicted to marijuana (which is why the eyes of those countries sometimes appear pink). Netherlands was in that condition for a while.
- Japan: Is otaku (extreme fan of anime and manga), likes to eat sea creatures and never admits having committed war crimes.
- Latvia: Wants to have its own production of potatoes.
- Mexico: Likes the tacos, they are obsessed with Texas and are smart when crossing the border to the United States. It hates central americans.
- Nigeria: Likes to make Internet scams.
- North Korea: hates South Korea, Japan and the United States.
- Poland: wants to go into space but can not. It also works as a plumber for UK and hates homosexuals.
- Russia: has ambitions to be a world power and hates homosexuals.
- Serbia: hates Muslims (especially Bosnians and Turks).
- Switzerland: Likes to accumulate gold. It is sometimes a nurse or a border surgeon.
- United States: wants to impose their lifestyle worldwide and is fond of junk food.
- Wales and New Zealand: fans of sheeps.