On the very first pages, Jan Bauer makes it clear that his focus in “The Salty River" is solitude, peace and quiet, the inner self. This is a self-discovery trip to help him cope with the loss of his mother and the end of a 16-year relationship. The salty river is a dry riverbed which Jan Bauer, starting in Alice Springs, follows for 25 days and nights – 450 km. Of which 233 along the Larapinta Trail.
The graphic realisation takes place at Jan Bauer's home, after the trip. To tell a story, it's not enough to just replay events. Omission is probably the most important part of the creative process for Jan Bauer.
The Australian snake world is wrongly discredited. Snakes are sometimes a problem in other countries, but not worth mentioning as a danger in Australia, even if the ten species with the most potent poison live there. If one bites, a photo is helpful. This enables doctors to determine the type and effective antidote more quickly.
There is disagreement about what the dingo is biologically. He is referred to as "wolf", "dingo", "dog" and "wild dog". However, many biologists and environmentalists see it as part of the Australian fauna. Dingoes are considered to be the main predators and may generally have a key ecological function. Therefore, it is considered likely that they will control diversity within the ecosystem by limiting the number of prey and competitors.
Flies can become a real scourge in the outback. Fly nets provide relief, as well as cork hats and insect repellent. Although a head net looks pretty stupid, but it helps. Especially because the annoying beasts love mouth corners, eyes and ears.
Stefan Mesch about "The salty river"
When I read "The Salty River” in 2014, I was sure: 5 out of 5 stars. And despite the simply drawn faces and the uncomplicated scene and picture sequences: a bold piece of autofiction!"