Polandball: Keystone Calamity


Polandball, sometimes also known as Countryball, is a new form of internet cartoon characterized by little balls that represent countries or other geographical entities. The style emerged in 2009 on Krautchan, the German-language equivalent of 4chan. The original Polandball comics were apolitical and focused specifically on an individual Polish user’s broken English — “I know that feel,” another internet meme, also comes from this user — but has since grown to encompass geopolitical issues and explorations of the foibles of different nations and cultures.

Though the style has expanded well beyond its orginal form thematically some of its original features have solidified into informal rules, such as the use of nonstandard English, drawing the comics with a mouse using only rudimentary graphics programs like MS Paint, and country-specific rules such as the United States being depicted wearing sunglasses or Israel being depicted as a tesseract rather than a ball.

Readers not familiar with Pennsylvania should know that the rural Appalachian heartland between the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia metro areas is often referred to as “Pennsyltucky.”

From the Files: Billy the Brontosaur®

From the Files is a series presenting choice selections from my extensive and highly disorganized physical archives here at Home Base. Here you’ll find lost cartoons, unfinished art, and forgotten doodles. Enjoy.