In an underwater world not unlike Hollywood’s Old West, a botched train robbery sends the derailed engine into the unexplored darkness of the deep ocean. After its dramatic return from the depths, Wilbur MacKay, the sheriff of the struggling reef of Low Tide confides in the remaining reliable men in town in an attempt to cover up the disaster rather than explain it. His co-conspirators are Low Tide’s doctor Fitzgerald, the religious leader Morayarty, the train’s loathsome owner Bolton Hayes, and his best friend Leon; who barely escaped from the train prior to the wreck.

The cover up soon fails after locals from Low Tide begin to vanish, while volcanic ash falls like snow after the sun goes down. He begins to ask himself how the train engine returned and what did it agitate during its brief time in the deep. Desperate for help, the sheriff reaches out to both the local government and a wealthier neighboring town. However, his poor luck appears to doom everyone around him.

The Black Frontier is written and illustrated by Peter O’Donoghue; inspired by his love of the natural world, its mysteries and the flexibility afforded to him by the unknown. That and the fact that “pistol shrimp” is a good name for a cowboy.