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Oliver Wilson
Oliver Wilson

Countryball Art: How to Draw and Create Your Own Countryballs with Easy Tools


What is Countryball? A Guide to the Geopolitical Satire Meme




If you are a fan of internet memes, you may have come across some comics featuring balls with eyes and flags, representing different countries or political entities. These are called countryballs, and they are a popular form of geopolitical satire that poke fun at national stereotypes, international relations, and historical events. But where did this meme come from, and what are its main characteristics? In this article, we will explore the origin, features, and popularity of countryball, as well as some of its controversies and criticisms.




countryball



The Origin of Countryball




The first countryballs were created in 2009, but they have roots in an earlier online phenomenon.


The Drawball.com Incident




In August 2009, thousands of Polish internet users from various sites raided a website called drawball.com, where users could freely draw on a circular canvas. They covered the entire canvas with the Polish flag and the word "POLSKA", creating a literal "Poland ball". This was seen as an act of patriotism and trolling by the Polish users, but also as an annoyance and provocation by other users.


The Krautchan.net Comics




In September 2009, a British user named Falco on a German imageboard called Krautchan.net started making comics featuring Poland as an upside-down ball with poor English skills. He did this to mock a Polish troll named Wojak, who often posted on the board. Falco used Microsoft Paint to make his comics look crudely drawn, and he also added other countries as balls, such as Germany, Russia, and the UK. His comics became popular among other users on the board, especially Russians, who joined in making fun of Poland and other countries.


The comics also gained more attention after the death of Lech Kaczyński, the president of Poland, in a plane crash in Smolensk in April 2010. Some comics made jokes about the tragedy, while others expressed sympathy or solidarity.


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The Features of Countryball




Countryball comics have some distinctive features that make them recognizable and unique.


The Characters




The main characters of countryball comics are balls with eyes without pupils, decorated with their national flags. They usually have simple expressions and movements, such as smiling, frowning, crying, jumping, or walking. Some countries have additional features that reflect their stereotypes or history, such as:


  • Poland: always upside-down, sometimes wearing sunglasses or a winged hussar helmet.



  • Germany: square-shaped, sometimes wearing a pickelhaube helmet or a Nazi armband.



  • Russia: wearing an ushanka hat or a tracksuit, sometimes drunk or wielding a weapon.



  • USA: wearing sunglasses or a cowboy hat, sometimes obese or shooting guns.



  • UK: wearing a monocle or a top hat, sometimes drinking tea or being sarcastic.



  • France: wearing a beret or a striped shirt, sometimes surrendering or being arrogant.



  • China: having slanted eyes or speaking in "Engrish".



  • Japan: having big anime eyes or being obsessed with technology or culture.



  • Australia: upside-down like Poland, sometimes wearing a cork hat or being attacked by animals.



  • Canada: having a leaf on its head or being polite or apologetic.



There are also other types of balls that represent regions, cities, organizations, ideologies, religions, ethnicities, or historical entities. For example:


  • EU: a ball with stars on a blue background.NATO: a ball with a compass on a blue background.



  • ISIS: a black ball with Arabic writing.



  • Reichtangle: a rectangle with the German Empire flag, representing Germany's imperial ambitions.



  • Sealand: a tiny ball with a red cross on a white background, representing a micronation on an offshore platform.



  • Anschluss: a small ball with the Austrian flag, representing Austria's annexation by Nazi Germany.



Some balls also have relationships or interactions with each other, such as allies, enemies, rivals, friends, or lovers. For example:


  • Germany and France: often depicted as enemies or frenemies, due to their historical conflicts and cooperation.



  • Russia and Ukraine: often depicted as hostile or abusive, due to their political and territorial disputes.



  • USA and UK: often depicted as allies or friends, due to their shared language and culture.



  • China and Taiwan: often depicted as enemies or siblings, due to their complex status and history.



  • Poland and Lithuania: often depicted as lovers or ex-lovers, due to their historical union and separation.



The Language




The language of countryball comics is usually simple and informal, using broken English or intentional misspellings to convey the accents or personalities of the characters. For example:


  • Poland: "Poland cannot into space."



  • Germany: "Germany is of stronk."



  • Russia: "Russia is of glorious."



  • USA: "USA is of best country."



  • UK: "UK is of very civilised."



  • France: "France is of hon hon hon."



  • China: "China is of number one."



  • Japan: "Japan is of kawaii."



  • Australia: "Australia is of upside down."



  • Canada: "Canada is of sorry."



The comics also use some common phrases or catchphrases that are associated with certain countries or situations. For example:


  • "Remove kebab": a phrase used by Serbia or other Balkan countries to express their hatred or violence towards Turkey or other Muslim countries."Gib clay": a phrase used by any country to demand land or territory from another country.



  • "Anschluss": a word used by Germany or Reichtangle to express their desire to annex or unify with other countries, especially Austria.



  • "Börk": a word used by Sweden or other Nordic countries to imitate their language or accent.



  • "Hue": a word used by Brazil or other Latin American countries to express their laughter or joy.



  • "Yuo are of worst X": a phrase used by any country to insult another country by comparing them to a disliked or inferior entity, such as "Yuo are of worst Korea" or "Yuo are of worst Turkic".



The Humor




The humor of countryball comics is usually based on satire, irony, sarcasm, exaggeration, or absurdity. The comics often make jokes about the stereotypes, cultures, histories, politics, or personalities of the countries or regions they represent. They also make jokes about current events, international relations, historical events, or hypothetical scenarios. Some examples of common themes or topics are:


  • The space race and exploration, especially Poland's inability to reach space.



  • The World Wars and their aftermaths, especially Germany's role and fate.



  • The Cold War and its conflicts, especially the rivalry between the USA and the USSR.



  • The European Union and its integration, expansion, or disintegration.



  • The Middle East and its wars, crises, or conflicts, especially the involvement of Israel, Iran, or ISIS.



  • The Asia-Pacific and its development, growth, or challenges, especially the role of China, Japan, or India.



  • The Americas and their diversity, unity, or problems, especially the influence of the USA, Canada, or Brazil.



  • The Africa and its potential, issues, or opportunities, especially the role of South Africa, Nigeria, or Egypt.



The comics also use some common tropes or devices to create humor, such as:


  • Breaking the fourth wall: when a character acknowledges or interacts with the audience or the comic itself.Plot twist: when a character or a situation reveals an unexpected or surprising outcome or revelation.



  • Running gag: when a joke or a situation is repeated or referenced throughout the comics.



  • Crossover: when a character or a situation from another meme, media, or genre appears or interacts with the countryballs.



  • Parody: when a comic imitates or mocks the style, format, or content of another meme, media, or genre.



The Popularity of Countryball




Countryball comics have become very popular and widespread on the internet, as well as in other media and platforms.


The Online Communities




There are many online communities dedicated to creating


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