PopCon L.A.: Steve Sievers Dresses Like a Turtle and Brings His Supa Pirate Booty Hunt Web Series to Denny's

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Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 10:21 AM

click to enlarge Steve Sievers sans turtle costume at ITV Fest/PopCon L.A. - LIZ OHANESIAN
  • Liz Ohanesian
  • Steve Sievers sans turtle costume at ITV Fest/PopCon L.A.
If you go to a lot of fan conventions in Southern California, you've probably seen Steve Sievers. Usually, he's dressed as a turtle, Daniel the Turtle, to be specific. That's the character he created and voices for the web-based cartoon series, Supa Pirate Booty Hunt.

Supa Pirate Booty Hunt is about a pirate who fancies himself a ladies man and the down-to-earth turtle that accompanies him. The story first took shape on Sievers' college radio show at American University in Washington D.C. After he moved to L.A. and joined forces with Dahveed Kolodny-Nagy, the string of hysterical misadventures morphed into a series of very short animated episodes. These days, Supa Pirate Booty Hunt is doing pretty well, thanks, in part to some offline promotion for the online show. The show was an official selection of last weekend's ITV Fest/PopConLA and was nominated for an award at the television festival. Last year, they picked up a few awards at Burbank Film Festival.

click to enlarge Supa Pirate Booty Hunt booth at PopCon L.A. - LIZ OHANESIAN
  • Liz Ohanesian
  • Supa Pirate Booty Hunt booth at PopCon L.A.
They're also working with Music Saves Lives, an organization that encourages young people to donate blood, on a series of Supa Pirate Booty Hunt PSAs. The latest of these episodes, which features Megadeth's Dave Mustaine and Full Metal Jackie, premieres at their San Diego Comic-Con party this weekend and will be featured on television sets inside Denny's restaurants across the country. We were able to check out a sneak preview at PopCon LA's "Indie Animation" panel, which Sievers hosted.

Ask Sievers if the turtle suit helped spread the word about the tiny, independently made show and he'll answer yes. "It's probably the best promo thing I've done so far," he says.

Sievers made the costume with some help from his mother-in-law. They took the head of an old Barney costume and used foam to reshape it. The suit was originally a costume they bought from the CBS lot -- "some old squid thing," he says -- and redesigned.

He's been wearing it out since 2008, at conventions like Long Beach Comic Con -- where we first met for an L.A. Weekly story back in 2009 -- plus concerts, nightclubs and other events. Strange things happen when Sievers becomes Daniel the Turtle.

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