Manuel Alfonso Manilla, from 1882 until his departure in 1892, Manilla collaborated with the Mexico City publishing house of Antonio Vanegas Arroyo as an illustrator/engraver. He is credited with making approximately 500 illustrations (woodcuts, acid etchings and type metal lead engravings) for Vanegas Arroyo. The subject matter of the illustrations included images to accompany corridos (songs), scenes of street life, story characters, bullfighting, circuses and magic. The most remembered depictions were of religious themes and caricatures using calaveras or skeleton images. During the collaboration with Vanegas Arroyo he produced engravings for over thirty publishing houses in Mexico City. Most biographers believe that he served as mentor to Posada during the years that both men worked at the printing house of Vanegas Arroyo from 1889 to 1892, and with Posada was instrumental in popularizing the calaveras or skeletons.