Hot Off The PressesWe keep hearing that print publishing is going the way of the dinosaur, yet we continue to find paper-based materials in our mailbox. Many of the recent arrivals may be of interest to Custom Rodder readers, particularly as the holiday season approaches.

Our first tome, "The Art of Von Dutch," is the highly anticipated follow-up to Tornado Design's well-received "Rat Fink: The Art of Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth." The 420-page book, compiled by Aaron Kahan, Douglas Nason, Al Quattrocchi, and Jeff Smith, is literally a library in itself, devoted to the incredibly diverse works of art by the man whose name has, unfortunately, recently become synonymous with cheesy celebrities and (gulp) energy drinks. From the amazing vintage photography to the priceless firsthand accounts, this is a great resource on the life, times, and achievements of Kenneth "Von Dutch" Howard. To learn more about it, visit www.tornadodesign.la.

Where would hot rodding be without flames? That's a question Tim Phelps and "Yosemite" Sam Radoff have addressed in "Up in Flames: The Art of Flame Painting." With brilliant color photography by Paul Westbrook, this release from Motorbooks International delves into the hot world of custom flame painters, with interviews of luminaries like Rod Powell, Art Himsl, Dennis Ricklefs, as well as modern practitioners like Steve Vandemon and Craig Fraiser. Whether you're studying flame designs for your next project, or are just an admirer of the form, you can check out more on this offering at www.mbipublishing.com.

When custom enthusiasts looked to the future, they often saw it through the bubbletops of wild customs built by Darryl Starbird. This living legend's life and automotive creations are chronicled in "Darryl Starbird: The Bubble Top King." Written by Starbird and his grandson, Brice Bledsoe, this hardbound, all-color, 250-page book contains more than 1,000 photos of the more-than 100 vehicles Starbird has built, as well as the stories behind them. Darryl also touches on his successful show series, family life, and other ventures. For details and pricing, visit www.darrylstarbird.com.

Our next title is rich with images too-the kind you paint in your mind. Roger Jetter's second release, "Fast Cars, 4-Speeds & Fist-Fights," is a collection of nostalgic tales about youthful mischief in the '50s and '60s. Similar to his first book, "Bangin' Gears and Bustin' Heads," this book assembles more car-crazy antics of Jetter's younger rebellious years in Middle America. "It doesn't seem to matter where you grew up," Jetter says. "Everyone either has experienced or knew the same characters/situations in this book. I think that's why so many can identify with these stories." The book can be ordered through major booksellers, or at www.RAJetter.com.

Speaking of the '60s, those who miss the days of show rods and monster art should appreciate the Totally Stoked 2007 calendar available from Phase Three Design and Publishing. With a heavy nod toward Ed Roth's zany illustrations, Robert Wick has drawn 12 months worth of crazy monsters and far-out hot rods to get you through the year. For more information on the 12x24-inch, heavy-paper calendar, contact Phase Three at (415) 488-9132, or visit www.ptdap.com.