I read a while back that Sega themselves never intefered with the comic, rather they outsourced that to a company called copyright promotions, to quote Nigel Kitching: "Hi Stu
Yes Sega did have a say. The employed a company called Copyright Promotions who policed the comic. They mainly concerned themselves with checking that the characters were drawn correctly and occasionally would comment on the stories along the lines that (and this is a genuine example) in the bar room scene in the Knuckles series no alcohol should be shown. Copyright promotions didn't offer any creative input though.
When I figured out a back story for Knuckles this was presented to Sega and they approved it.
The organisation of Sega Europe did seem to be a bit chaotic and as time went by seemed to show little interest in the contents of the comic. Also it came to the point the we on the comic had been involved with Sonic and co longer than any of the people we came into contact with.
So Sega, for various reasons were pretty 'hands off'. And I did have a remarkable degree of creative freedom. I don't ever recall any of my major creative decisions being challenged. When I decided that Chaotix were a team (nothing I had been sent suggested that they actually were) that was fine. I also just invented personalities for these characters - I had no inforamtion for Sega to go on. This was a very good thing for me.
So even though I know Sonic and all the rest are Sega creations I kind of think of them as mine since it was me who sat down and created their back stories and personalities. Using, to a small degree, stuff I was sent obviously and referring to a book called, I think, Stay Sonic.
Oh, I just remembered. When I started, the woman form Sega (I forget her name) suggested the basic idea that Sonic should be some kind of Freedom Fighter. I guess this idea came from that first cartoon series perhaps. At the time I had seen none of the animated stuff. I thought this was a decent idea anyway and was happy to go along with it. This led to me being given a warning by the editor not to come on too strong with the fascist imagery for Robotnik.