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In the past year, a steady stream of political cartoonists has migrated from the editorial pages to the unemployment line, which is why fans of political cartooning should look forward to this weekend’s Small Press Expo. The theme for SPX, an alternative comics convention bringing together creators and their readers, is “Outside Looking In: Alternative Political Cartooning In 2008.” Several big names will take part in the weekend’s panels, including Tom Tomorrow (This Modern World) and Lloyd Dangle (Troubletown), who’ll discuss the future of alternative political cartooning. Tomorrow, whose work mixes art deco lines and coloring with well-researched dialogue and narration, is perhaps the only cartoonist to provide more insight into the bailout crisis than the average AP wire reporter. And Dangle’s caricatures of a strung-out and desperate Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson are vivid enough to keep you up at night.

SMALL PRESS EXPO TAKES PLACE SATURDAY, OCT. 4 (11 A.M. TO 7 P.M.), AND SUNDAY, OCT. 5 (NOON TO 6 P.M.), AT THE BETHESDA NORTH MARRIOTT HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTER, 5701 MARINELLI RD., BETHESDA. $8. (301) 822-9200.