I have seen here several related questions, none of which clearly provide an answer. I am implementing a theme where I want the node content (with its title, the tabs, etc.) themed completely separately (i.e. in a different div) from the comments. The initial problem is that part of what I consider the node content (the title, the tabs) is rendered in page.tpl.php and part (the node body itself) is rendered in node.tpl.php. The problem is that the comments are an integral part of the variable $content in node.tpl.php.
I found part of the solution:
I found the template comment-wrapper.tpl.php. By reimplementing it in my theme, I can cancel the output of the comments (by blanking out the template).
Now, I would like to use mytheme_preprocess_page() to pull up the comments into a variable $comments so that I can add the comments where I want in page.tpl.php.
The remaining problem is how can I get all the variables originally available within comment-wrapper.tpl.php from mytheme_preprocess_page()?
Or do you know another (better) way to achieve the same thing?
Another way to answer the question: who calls comment-wrapper.tpl.php ?
Maybe an answer to that question would help:
$content: reworded about manipulating this variable