I'm not an expert, but I think that the bold and italics properties may need to be defined in the stylesheet.
I've been using this template for months and really like it, but am probably going to be looking for something else. Although I really like the color scheme and the overall look of the template, I'm finding limitations with it.
Aside from the two issues you posted about, I cannot get threaded comments to work. Another really unusual behavior is that sometimes comments will appear in different colors all down the page.
The author's website says that this and other templates are undergoing 2.7 compatibility checks, but it's been that way for months. It's a great template, especially considering he offers it for free, but I think I may try something else pretty soon.
Here's what I did with it: http://huntsmanslodge.com