My basic question is:

Is it okay to use comp titles older than the 5-year rule (though not too much) so long as they are tailored to the specific person being queried?
Or is there just never an exception to that rule?

In my case, I'm hoping to query a small press directly that deals in weirdly-formatted books, with my hybrid novel. In my comps, I'd reference 2 of the titles that they published previously. "It has a similar sense of farce as A and a focus on ephemera imagery like book B" I'm hoping the age of the books could be overlooked comps for hybrid novels aren't all that easy to come by. And I'm also hoping that it shows that I've done my diligence and have really looked at their previous work (and could hopefully fit well into their roster).


Thanks for any and all information! Please feel free to tell me if I'm out in left field.