We have left this a little vague, but in the past we've always allowed comics that go all the way back to January 1st of the previous year (in this case 1/1/2004). That way there's a safe buffer to include everyone and it's a much more rounded date then May 8th.
However, if a comic came out in Febuary of 2005 and gets a newcomer award this year, it won't be eligable to win again next year as a newcomer.
I hope this helps.
visit <A HREF="http://www.zortic.com" TARGET=_blank>Zortic</A>
and <A HREF="http://www.abbysagency.us" TARGET=_blank>Abby's Agency</A>
and the <A HREF="http://www.ccawards.com" TARGET=_blank>Web Cartoonists' Choice Awards</A>