Carl H. Claudy

Carl Harry Claudy was born in 1879 and died in 1957. The year before his death he was named a Mason Honorary Passed Grand Master of North Dakota. Claudy's association with Freemasonry began in 1908, when, at the age of 29, he became a Master Mason in Harmony 17 in Washington, DC. He served as its master and eventualy served as grand master of Masons in the District of Columbia in 1943.

His Masonic writing career began in earnest when he became associated with the Masonic Service Association in 1923, serving as associate editor of its magazine, The Master Mason, until 1931. Under his leadership the Masonic Service Association was brought to a place of preeminence through his authorship and distribution of the Short Talk Bulletin which made his name familiar to virtually every lodge in the country. He authored approximately 350 Short Talk Bulletins. In addition to the bulletins themselves, he wrote and distributed innumerable digests, special bulletins, and portfolios of an historical and factual nature.

Claudy worked as a newspaper man and had been a regular writer for the pulp magazines during the 1920s, appearing in periodicals as widely read as the Popular Magazine, with adventure stories; and, as an outdoor man who loved sports, he was able to add an air of authenticity to those stories. Early in 1931 his science fiction stories began to appear in American Boy Magazine and continued to appear through 1939.

Of particular interest is his serial in the October, November, and December, 1939 issues of American Boy. This SF serial, "Return to Mars," had as its protagonists Dr. Alan Kane (American Boy's "most popular scientist") and Jack Armstrong ("Radio's most popular adventure hero").

DC's All-American Comics began printing adaptations of Claudy's SF stories in his "Adventures in the Unknown" strip that began with the very first issue of this comic book, dated April, 1939. The first Claudy story to be adapted in this strip was "Mystery Men of Mars," and ran for six issues. Next, Claudy's "A Thousand Years a Minute" was adapted and ran in issues #7-12. "The Infra-Red Destroyer" was his next story to be adapted and ran in the next six issues, ending in issue #18. Finally, "Rescue on Mars," was adapted for issues #20-25. These stories were seen in small pictures on several covers, and the strip itself was featured on the covers of issues #7 and #13. Either "C. H. Claudy" or "Carl H. Claudy" was listed as the author of all these stories, which were drawn by comic book artist Stan Aschmeier (later known as Stan Asch or Stan Josephs, an artist on other comic characters: Dr. Mid-Nite, Mr. Terrific, Dr. Fate, the Green Hornet, etc.).

Claudy's four published SF books were The Land of No Shadow (1933) [a trip to the 4th dimension], The Mystery Men of Mars (1933) [adventures on Mars], A Thousand Years a Minute (1933) [time travel to a million years in the past], and The Blue Grotto Terror (1934) [story of a fantastic explosive].

SF historian Sam Moskowitz, in an article on juvenile fiction, had the following to say about Claudy's fiction: "His first was a long novelette titled "Land of No Shadow," published in the February 1931 issue [of American Boy]. The story could have been printed in any of the leading science fiction magazines of the day — Amazing Stories, Wonder Stories, or Astounding Stories — and would have been judged a powerful, above-averge adventure science-fantasy."

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