The Rock Jock’s guide to Queen Creek Canyon was completed and published August 1996. My goal with this guidebook was not to just create a guidebook, but to go after a masterpiece that will be the greatest guidebook ever created. To dig deep and put everything I have as a climber and artist into this book creation. Queen Creek Canyon was my main subject so I need everything that involves the Queen Creek Canyon area in this book. This is to be the Bible of Queen Creek Canyon. My wife Randi in a hesitant way agreed to help me design the book, and to teach me about scanning and putting everything into a computer pervious to her taking the separate ingredients, and tossing it into the perfect salad. Without Randi’s design insight and direction, the guidebook would have never happened. I started by gathering all of the guidebooks to climbing areas all over the USA and listed what I liked that was in the books, and what I thought the books were missing.
First a list of what makes this guidebook so unique:
- Marty and Randi are both perfectionists in art and design work.
- Cover: Thick and whitest cover stock available that will have color photos printed onto it that bleed off of the edges. Cover is to have additional plastic clear covering added to protect the images. Corners are rounded to prevent dog earring.
- Pages are 70lb paper whitest paper available in the USA. If I was to create another guidebook, 60lb paper is plenty enough. Pages are to be folded then Symthe sewn then glued into the cover. This will prevent pages from separating and falling out of the book.
- Photos are a combination of standard and bleeds that print off of the edge of the book pages. Photos are to be drum laser scanned for the best clarity.
- 225 photos. 10 Infra-red photos.
- 285 hand drawn illustrations.
- 4 editors: 2 with climbing experience, 2 never climbed.
- 650 routes and 1200 boulder problems listed.
- Area map system on every page so climbers will never get lost on trying to locate the climbing areas.
- Mining and town history and area geology.
- Plants and Animals of the area.
- Historic vehicle road tour.
- Famous climbers signatures throughout the book.
- Home of the Phoenix Bouldering Contest 1989 - 2003
- Comics, Quotes, Newspaper stories
- Euro Dog moving illustration.
- Index, Tick List, Store and Mfg advertisements.
- 3000 Guidebooks were printed.
- Book printing and film production costs, $25,000.
- In 2009 a QC book sold on ebay fetching $751
In 1994 I started listing most of the photos that I will be needing since the sunlight is important to be on the formations, and some of the formations receive sunlight only one month of the year. There were no digital cameras so everything had to be done with film. If the photo didn’t come out beautiful, then it was back to reshooting the rock over and over, so I definitely got a lot of hiking in with this picture taking process. Plus knowing that I had a few years to capture the perfect lighting on the rock went into the task schedule. I gave a shout out to the many people that attended the Phoenix Bouldering Contests, to look at their photos and try to use as many photos that had climbers on them as possible. Having somebody on the rock gives the viewer a better idea of what the climbers are looking for when trying to locate the routes and boulder problems. Climber Ed Pabst at the time was taking photos using a infra-red process that he was exploring with at the time, and I figured Ed.s photos will be awesome to use for the individual chapter opening sections. The infra-red film gives the photos a grainy effect, and the sky becomes black and the plant life glows a beautiful white color. Totally awesome!!!
Throughout the book there are 285 drawings. Throughout 1994 - 1996 I was figuring out what I needed for the book, and then creating the many drawings. Thousands of hours went into the creation of these drawings, and following that cleaning up the ink drawings on the computer.
I thought it will be really cool if when flipping through the pages of the book a cartoon would move in progression. So I came up with the Euro Dog character flip book. I drew 20 boxes where the dog kisses his muscles then walks closer, then eyes roll and drool runs down from his tongue. This progression took one month to create.
November 1995, Arizona Department of Transportation decided to blast in half one of the climbing formations that was next to Highway 60 in the Road Area named Volcanic Panic. Volcanic Panic was the best 5.9 in the entire Queen Creek Area. I thought it would be great to have Alex from the movie Clockwork Orange as the one that causes the "ultra violence" to the pinnacle.