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|Launch date||31 August 2010|
|Alternate name(s)||MicroBall, (archaism) Erusiaball|
|Genre(s)||Political cartoons, comedy|
Microball Comics (popularly referred to as Microballs) are a form of micronational comic designed to satirize current events within the MicroWiki sector, the comics are inspired by PolandBall and CountryBalls. The comics do not have any single author, being created regularly by many different micronationalists. A Microball is a representation of a micronation depicted in the comic - these are typically circular in shape, have white eyes with a black outline, and feature the flag of the nation they represent.
The predecessor of the Microball phenomenon was Polandball, a similar set of comics satirizing recognized states. After Polandball's creation, the comics became wildly popular. A few comics portrayed Sealand, which may have sparked the Microballs series being created by other micronations and the MicroWiki community.
The first Microballs were created in late August 2010. Microballs were originally shared over Skype, mainly in the Yellow Bear Micronational and Micropolitan Lounge chatrooms, and later came to be shared on both the MicroWiki and OAM Forums, where a thread made to accommodate them can still be seen on the former.
While Microball remained a popular format for micronational memes through the first half of the 2010s, by 2017 the format was scarcely used, largely replaced by more traditional and easier meme formats. Several attempts to revive it since then proved to be short-lived.
There are four main styles of comic, as presented by Barnaby Hands in the MicroWiki Forum:
- Reinhardt, the original format, in which the body, eyes, and flag of a Microball are done by hand.
- Linden, identical to Reinhardt except the colours on the flag are not separated by additional black lines.
- Anderson, identical to Reinhardt except outlines tend to be smoother and a less formal font is used for dialogue.
- Haikal, identical to Reinhardt except outlines colored red as standard, flag are not separated and made on Papyrus (proposed).
- Standard, where the body and eyes are done by hand, but the flag is copied and pasted on.
- Millard, where the body and eyes are made using the ellipse tool, and the flag is copied and pasted on.
- Danny, where the body and eyes are already made in a Microball template.
Some minor styles are sprouting on micronational organizations around the world. For example style Tian has a flex-ball shape complete with mouth, eyes and flag. This style occurs only at Association of Indonesian Micronations
Backs of characters
In several issues of Microball, some characters have been viewed from behind. This started right at the beginning of the meme in early September 2010, when a Microball depicting Austenasia and Moylurg burning Erusia showed the former two from behind - the lines seen on the front of their flags were displayed as so on the back, but without the facial features given to them on the front. In later issues, (especially the Ultamiya Microball series published by David I of Varina), flag designs have copied onto the back, but with any major features such as charges and symbols removed.
Examples of comics
A very early Microball mocking Erusia.
A very early Microball satirizing the "Univist Universal War".
A microball satirizing the formation of the North American Confederation.
Another very early Microball, mocking Rajputistan.
A Microball on the reaction to the return of Robert Lethler.
A Microball satirizing the frequent use of informal language by Aldrich Lucas (represented by Yabloko).
A Microball made for the third Independence Day of the Empire of Austenasia.
A Microball satirizing the OAM leadership's lack of successful reform.
A Microball satirizing the 2020 assumption of emergency powers by Jonathan I.
Microballs can be expressed through other mediums including video, animation, etc.
The final scene from the "Cycoldian Crisis in A Nutshell" movie produced by the Emersonian Bureau of Media. It features Cycoldiaball scolding Emersoniaball for its actions during the film.
Microballs are generally considered to be in the public domain, as they prominently feature the flags of nations and no claim of copyright is ever known to have been attached to a Microball comic.