Welcome to City Superheroes, a regular column that highlights the powerful figures walking among us — with the help of a (usually local) illustrator. This week’s pairing: writer and artist Amanda Manitach and visual artist Carina Simmons.
Given Name: Amanda Manitach
Other Aliases: The Platinum Widow Maker, Mandy Candy
Superpowers: Light grenades, infinite energy
First Appearance: December 2009 showing four drawings of syphilitic vaginas at one of the New Guard dinners. “That’s when I was obsessed with the historical implications of syphilis,” she explains.
Local Haunts: Bait Shop, Hedreen Gallery, Roq La Rue, The Factory, Broadway Gold’s Gym, Joe Bar, Aoki Sushi
Archenemies: Boring things, the art market
Even Heroes Have Heroes: Drake (“He’s so sensitive and sweet and makes such bad music”), Miley Cyrus’s Instagram, Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell
Origin Story: Born in Quinter, Kansas, Amanda moved to rural Texas as a child where her father was (and still is) a non-denominational charismatic pastor. Amanda, who grew up wanting to be a missionary and later a writer, studied literature at Oral Roberts University, where she lost her religion but discovered her powers of light manipulation and energy regeneration. She later moved to Seattle where the vibrant hues and mysterious lights of the Pacific Northwest intensified her passion for color and her mastery of language.
Amanda has planted feet in both a solitary artistic life and as a documenter of Emerald City culture. Her never-ending energy allows her to be seemingly in two places at once. “I am a masochist,” she says. “I often do too much, but that’s what’s also totally energizing and exciting.” Amanda draws her powers from people, as well as other light sources. When not writing or curating, she finds herself at the studio, drawing. Some part of her, she explains, is “always in motion.” Her fate? One of the world’s restless people, fighting the good fight.
Her Philosophy: “Work hard and try to have fun before you fucking die.”
“People who take themselves too seriously in the art world tend to run into problems. At the same time, you have to work your ass off. Strive for a balance of humor and workaholism.”
What’s Next: A group art exhibit called “Plus One” at Roq La Rue that opens on June 12th. Amanda will be showing a life-sized graphite drawing of one of her infamous T-Shirt Girls.
About the Illustrator: The Seattle-based Carina Simmons began studying animation in 2006 and later worked in film production. She focuses now on 2-D animation and mixed media illustration.
To see all our City Superhero series, go here.