The comic strip is one of a handful of art forms that originated in the United States. Through the comic strip, cartooning is taken to a higher level of sophistication. Since separate panels indicate the passage of time, stories can unfold and plots can be developed. Characters are no longer simply instruments of the punch line. Rather, as their personalities develop day after day, they form a special relationship with the reader. Not surprisingly, comic strips have spawned some of America's best-loved fictional characters, including Snoopy, Pogo, and Garfield.