This month's automotive artist's work has appeared all over the pages of R&C in the last several years, and all over our office walls as well. Jeff Norwell is a commercial artist from the Toronto, Ontario, area. As his Web site shows, his talent extends beyond hot rodding, but that is clearly where his passion lies. His style ranges from fine art (take a look at "Salt and Metal" on his Paintings page) to more of a comic book look, especially when he assumes his alter ego, Norton. Anyone who wants Jeff Norwell artwork for his own walls can commission an original piece or pick from one of the prints for sale on the site.

Monster Garage: How to Customize Damn Near Anything

MBI PublishingDon't judge a book by its cover. A wise man once told us that, but we weren't listening. Therefore, naturally, our first impression of Monster Garage: How to Customize Damn Near Anything, judging from the Monster Garage TV show tie-in and the "Damn Near Everything" part of the title, was that this would be a semi-humorous coffee table book chock full of tips for building the kind of whacky vehicles the TV show is famous for.

Wrong. The book, published in 2003 by Motorbooks International, is specifically about how to build a car. Also, despite the Monster Garage credentials, the information on these 224 pages applies more to building the kind of car you're probably going to build than the kind Jesse James would.

Part 1, the shortest segment, is dedicated to tips for planning your project. From there, Part 2 dives right into practical tech on engine and suspension components-what they do, how they work, and how to pick the right ones for your application. Part 3 gets into the area of welding and continues with information on various welding techniques and equipment. Finally, Part 4 is an extensive look at paint and graphics-once again with lots of details on the products out there as well as tips for applying them correctly and achieving various graphic looks.

As is usual with Motorbooks publications, this book is well illustrated with hundreds of good photographs. It's a great one-volume reference to what goes into building a custom car.

Monster Garage: How to Customize Damn Near Anything is available at most larger bookstores or retail Web sites, or from Motorbooks International at or by calling (800) 826-6600. The cover price is $19.95.