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The Comments Section is the part under the daily comic, where users can post their thoughts about the comic above or whatever's on their mind.

Tips and Tricks

There are a number of things you can do to make the most out of your Explosm commenting experience!

Please don't tell anyone how do any of the tricks below. Anyone caught doing so will be punished severely.

Reply-hacking

Comments are shown nested with newest first. A comment to the comic itself has a depth of one. A reply to that comment has a depth of two. If a comment's depth is at least six, the Reply link does not appear.

Reply-hacking is the act of replying to a comment that is far enough in a comment chain to be unreplyable. Several commenters have figured this out, and The Man Himself coined 'reply-hack' in comic #4556.

Blank Comment

Blank commenting is when you make a comment that displays no text. The characters allowed are over 4 characters and under 1000 characters, so pressing space doesn't do anything.

Delete-hacking

Delete-hacking is when you delete a comment that already has a reply. It was discovered only recently.

Time Warping

Time Warping is posting a comment to a comic that has not been submitted yet (one in the future). When that comic is submitted, the comment will appear, but the timestamp will state a time before the comic was posted. This was only recently discovered by User #74967, and at time of writing, only a small number of users know how to do it.

Markdown

The comment engine recognizes a subset of Markdown syntax, which PinoBatch has called "Explosm-flavored Markdown".

Italics and bold

To write a comment or part of a comment in Italics, put an asterisk (*) before and after the part you wish to italicise. Underscores (_) also work. For bold, put two asterisks (**) on either side of the part you wish to put in bold. Three asterisks (***) make the text bold and italic.

Examples:

*Hello!* will come out as Hello!

**Hello!** will come out as Hello!

***Hello!*** will come out as Hello!

Forbidden Markdown

The comment engine works by translating each comment from Markdown to HTML and then eating all HTML tags other than those on a small whitelist. This means several Markdown forms will not work.

  • Heading, link, and inline image markup don't work, Instead, it recognizes bare URLs within the http://explosm.net origin, such as links to other comics and RCGs, turning them into clickable links.
  • Two spaces at the end of a line do not create a hard line break because <br> is not allowed. Press Enter twice to create a new paragraph instead.
  • If you start a line with an asterisk or something like 1., it'll get swallowed up because <li> is not on the whitelist.
  • Backticks (`) around a word do not produce inline code (like this) because <code> is not on the whitelist.
  • Block quotes (> at the start of a paragraph) don't work either because <blockquote> is not on the whitelist.

Escaping

To prevent Markdown from processing forms, especially those that look like list items or HTML tags, add a backslash before the troublesome punctuation: \* or 1\.

Because Markdown does not process forms inside inline code, backticks end up acting as an escaping mechanism as well: `*` or `1.`