I'm not sure how to say this without it looking like I'm trying to minimize the awards (which I'm not) or having it sounding like sour grapes. I can only say it's not those things.
To play Devil's Advocate on these awards. Who really cares, other than the comic creators mainly on this site?
I do think it's nice to have awards for webcomics. I was happy for my buddy Steve Ogden when Moon Town won last year. But we did both wonder the same thing. It seems like there's a group of people here that get excited about it, and they go out and talk about it. They are mostly comic creators.
It doesn't seem as if the "general public" really participates much. Sure you post the awards on your site hoping your readers will participate, but I think the truth is that very few do, except maybe to vote for your comic. Particularly the nomination process is not a quick and easy thing to do.
Maybe someone can share voting numbers, but I seem to recall them being quite low.
I wonder if it would be better to actually brand these awards as an "industry" award by ones peers instead of a "general" award. You'd have comic creators register - and by registering all they need to do is show a website where they are currently creating comics. Then you just have them vote.
It seems this way it is much clearer about what the awards are. And I think, a bit more meaningful. To be blunt, it would make more sense to me than having it now the way it is where either the most popular comics win, or those who promote themselves best win.
I think you'd get far more interesting results, too.
Anyway, my take on it. People will disagree. That's how I see it. Maybe it's too late to even discuss, don't know.