Though American companies continue to cut an estimated 2,600 jobs each business day, many casualties of corporate downsizing often reemerge with a feisty sense of irony:

After Richard Stevens and two other staff members of the research-and-development unit at a big food company learned that their Hartford, Conn., division would be merged with another outfit in Walnut Creek, Calif., they used their severance payments as seed capital for another food company. Its name? Severance Foods.

After being fired from two comics publishers, comics writer and editor James Shooter decided to start his own publishing company. Its imprint? Defiant.

-- Alessandra Bianchi

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