Traditionally a calavera (which means skull in Spanish) would be produced for a friend or celebrity while they were still alive, and sold during the festival along with other artefacts such a skeletal toys or sweets.
However, cartoonists José Guadalupe Posada and Manuel Manilla, both operating in the late-19th century, extended the calavera even further, using the medium to expose hypocrisy in Mexican society and reflect on the absurdity of the human condition.
Their work, which was much admired by Surrealist artists, is brought together in new book Mexico Macabre: Prints for the Day of the Dead.
The book presents 22 works by Posada and Manilla as large format postcards, which can be torn out to send to your death-obsessed friends.
The book is published by Redstone Press on 2 November, which is, of course, the Day of the Dead.
Mexico Macabre: Prints for the Day of the Dead, is published by Redstone Press on 2 November, priced at £9.95. For more details visit www.theredstoneshop.com.