JC is a student who grew up in Topanga Canyon, a town in the mountains of LA. The area is surrounded by dense woods and tons of wildlife.

JC- In like 2020 in COVID when my friends and I wanted to hang out but we couldn’t hang out inside together, we would camp in my backyard and set up tents and all sleep in the tents overnight. I live in kinda a rural area and my backyard backs up to a hill that’s pretty wild, a type of woods. My friends and I developed this legend about this creature called the DeerMan, that comes out at night and terrorizes us while we’re sleeping. He’s half man half deer. I would mess with my friends by going out at night and tapping on their tents and stuff and then in the morning when we all woke up I’d be like ‘guys, did you hear the DeerMan last night?”. The lore extended and eventually, there became this second character. There used to be this owl that would hang out in a tree by my house and we all started calling him Skeekee the Wise and we built up this lore that Skeekee the Wise and DeerMan were mortal enemies and Skeekee the Wise is the defender of all things good and DeerMan is the perpetrator of evil, and the two of them are at a constant clash for power. Skeekee the wise was our protector.


2020 has already been historically categorized as a very crazy and strenuous year. For the groups of graduating high schoolers across the country, it posed an even harder challenge. All of the things people had worked their whole lives to achieve suddenly didn’t matter in the blink of an eye. COVID was a mass trauma event, almost everyone alive was affected by it and is still dealing with the effects. It was a time that taught people the importance of having a support system and community, especially once those moments of connection are taken away. JC and his friends were lucky to have a way to still see and support each other through this hard time. DeerMan was a completely fictionalized character that existed only within the confines of this group of friends. Creating this character and having an evil figure to jokingly mess around with was a good way for the group to distract themselves from the problems they were facing. When they were hanging out, the only thing they had to worry about was DeerMan, all of the other things going on around them didn’t matter as much. This creature helped them release tension by pranking one another and distracting themsleves with its lore and details. Furthermore, Skeekee the Wise also served a similar, but opposite role, being the character that represented their hope and the promise that one is always protected and that good will always prevail. Having these characters with these themes to connect with was a healthy way for the friends to process what they were going through. From just being an owl that lives in a nearby tree to suddenly transforming into a figure of all that is good in the universe, Skeekee the Wise also perfectly shows the way that myths and cryptids are created all the time by everyone around us. Everything imagined has truth and reality instilled within it.