‘Act of God’ brings Tim Lockley back with another witty collection of cartoon oddities

‘Act of God’ is Tim Lockley’s seventh published collection of Ods Bodkins cartoons.
‘Act of God’ is Tim Lockley’s seventh published collection of Ods Bodkins cartoons.

It has become an annual tradition. Each year around Thanksgiving, out pops another edition of bitingly satirical cartoon wit by local master of the art, Tim Lockley.

This year’s edition would have arrived in time for Thanksgiving, I’m told, but somehow got diverted, via package delivery service, to Saskatchewan.

Sounds like the plot of one of the collection’s cartoon panels.

The mistake, however, was corrected just in time for the latest edition, “Act of God,” to arrive on this reviewer’s desk to make the Sun Herald’s Christmas Eve books page.

Lockley of Gulfport is the longtime Sun Herald political cartoonist, whose cartoons have graced the opinion pages since 1988.

“Act of God” is the seventh collection of Lockley’s “Ods Bodkins” cartoons to be featured in book form via The Merry Blacksmith Press.

The cartoons are one-panel, stand-alone pin-and-ink images with humorous captions or word bubbles, including one that features a drawing of a cloud with an empty thought bubble rising up from it. Below the image, the caption reads, “When clouds think.”

Not only does Lockley have a generous gift for drawing cartoons, but he also has a prolific gift for witty word play featuring puns, made up words or just plain odd thoughts. For instance, a caption below a cartoon of a man looking at his smart phone while talking to a friend, reads, “And this app keeps track of all my other apps.”

Lockley has said he started drawing cartoons when he was a teenager as a way to “relieve my aggression,” and by the time he was in high school he was drawing cartoons commercially.

He was in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam where he served three times on temporary duty — in 1966, in 1968 and ’69, and in 1971 and ’72, he told the Sun Herald in a 2013 interview.

When he got out of the Air Force in 1973 he enrolled at the University of Southern Mississippi and he also took classes at Delta State, Mississippi State, the University of Adelaide in Australia and several other schools before going to work for the USDA, from which he retired in 2004, before becoming an entomologist for the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce, he told the Sun Herald.

He still does political cartoons for the Sun Herald editorial page and writes a weekly entomogolgy column with cartoon illustraions for the Sunday Outdoors page.

Lockley’s previous books include “On Facebook, Everybody Knows You’re a Dog,” “Somewhere There’s a Cartoonist Making Fun of Us,” “When Clichès Collide,” “It Was the Bottom of the Fifth and the Bassist Was Loaded,” “The Worst Case Scenario is Coming,” “The One that Got Away.”

Act of God

Cartoons by Timothy C. Lockley

158 pages

The Merry Blacksmith Press