Born in Luson (Bolzano), Maurilio Manaro initially earned a living by assisting sculptors. He became interested in comix in the late sixties. His first work appeared in the 'Genius' pocket books by publisher Furio Vanio in 1969, and in magazines like Terror, Telerompo, and the French magazines Alter-Linus and Charlie Mensuel. Other early work include the sexy pirate 'Jolanda' with scriptwriter Francesco Rubino for publisher Erregi (1971-73). For the children's magazine Corriere dei Ragazzi, he adapted 'Le Decameron' and worked with Milo Milani on the series 'La Parola alla Giura'.