Bodog, an online gambling/MMA/music/TV etc type website apears to hear that these graphic novels are HOT, as they have pacted with some excellent comics peep for the adventures of poker-playing, crime solving secret agents. PR to follow:

Multimedia powerhouse Bodog Entertainment is continuing its expansion into the digital entertainment industry, branching out into uncharted realms of amusement by announcing a deal to release a graphic novel created by top comic talents Adam Slutsky, Shawn Martinbrough and Joseph Phillip Illidge.

The graphic novel will make its debut at a major comic event in 2008. The book will detail the story of the Ayre Force, a group of secret agents from the realms of poker, mixed martial arts and music in the Bodog Universe. The team will be lead by globe-trotting mastermind Calvin Ayre.

The first adventure will be a worldwide challenge between good and evil hinging upon the fate of bears that are tortured in the name of traditional Chinese medicines.

Bodog Entertainment Founder Calvin Ayre notes, “When Adam first presented the idea we were excited by its uniqueness and fit with the Bodog brand. As we developed the concept with him, it’s taken on its own life and will be a fantastic addition to the Bodog Entertainment family, both as a graphic novel and in other formats to come. Plus, I’ve always wanted to be a comic book hero. Who hasn’t?”

In addition to Ayre, some of the stars from the Bodog Universe who will be featured in the graphic novel will be Bodog poker pros Evelyn Ng, David Williams and Josh Arieh, Bodog Music artists Jason Darr (Neurosonic), Nazanin and Bif Naked, as well as Bodog Fighters Yves Edwards, Tara Larosa, and Trevor Prangley.

Illustrator Shawn Martinbrough’s client list includes: LucasArts, Bad Boy Entertainment, Playboy and Penguin Books. The bulk of his work has been produced for DC Comics, Vertigo and Marvel Comics, illustrating stories ranging from Batman to King James (based on superstar athlete Lebron James). How to Draw Noir Comics, an instructional art book based on Shawn’s high contrast style, is set for national release in fall 2007.

Writer Joseph Phillip Illidge has been writing and editing graphic novels and comic books for over a decade, most notably as an editor of the Batman line of books for DC Comics. His client list includes: TimeWarner, the Nielsen Company, and IntraLinks. In addition to editing the Archaia Studios Press line of books and writing corporate comics for ASP Industrial, Joseph writes and directs films for his production company, Verge Entertainment.

Adam Slutsky is an established literary mercenary with well over 100 feature articles to his credit, the vast majority for hip men’s lifestyle publications. Specializing in participatory journalism, Adam has taken part in and chronicled some truly wild adventures including: Bluewater hunting in shark-infested waters, off-road racing across the Baja Peninsula, working the pit at the 24 Hours of LeMans and much more. Adam pens a monthly column for Bluff Magazine and will be a feature contributor for the new mixed martial arts publication, Fight! Magazine.